A new village for dementia residents opened its doors in Denmark last month.
The town will have 125 homes, and residents will have at their disposal a shopping street, a fitness center, a hobby center, a full library and a restaurant serving high-quality food. The village is reserved solely for people suffering from dementia, and thereby making their everyday life safer.
Svendborg Demensby (Svendborg Dementia Village) is the first of its kind in Denmark, modelled after similar projects in the Netherlands, Italy and Canada.
The village, located on the island of Funen, focuses on stimulating residents and is designed as a genuine village with a city square surrounded by shops such as a restaurant, a bar, a hairdresser, a theater, a music library, a wellness salon where residents can get manicures and massages, an exercise center, and a closed garden. Residents live in communal housing with shared kitchens and living rooms in addition to having their own apartment.
The dementia village is expected to give sufferers a more fulfilling life in comparison with ordinary sheltered housing.
“Dementia Village, with its good framework and fantastic opportunities for physical activities, will help give its residents a better quality of life. Dementia Village will also give us incredibly unique experience that we can apply to other care centres with demented residents,” said spokeswoman Hanne Ringgaard Møller in Svendborg Municipality.
The Danish Alzheimer’s Association (Alzheimerforeningen) cautiously welcomed the initiative but expressed concerns about the village’s residents being cut off from the outside world.
To counter the feeling of exclusion among nursing home residents, the facilities in the village are open for non-residents as well. The nursing home also allows pets, so residents can bring their own pet.
The decision to establish Dementia Village was partly taken because of demands from the relatives of dementia sufferers in Svendborg.
The village has extra focus on safety and has extra precautions to protect the residents who have a tendency to leave their nursing home and get lost.
The dementia village was inaugurated on November 21, 2016. More dementia villages are in the works in Denmark.
Dementia Village in Denmark, written by Tor Kjolberg