The creation of an Alzheimer's Village.

“It’s normal, but it’s very hard to be normal.”

It is not uncommon for those with Alzheimer's to live in an assisted living facility. These facilities closely mirror a home environment with uniformed caregivers added in. But in Weesp, Netherlands a new lifestyle is being tested - one that goes beyond the home and encapsulates an entire village.

Introducing Hogeway. 

 Image of Hogeway, courtesy of Alzheimer's.net.

Image of Hogeway, courtesy of Alzheimer's.net.

The developers of Hogeway have taken the assisted living model and made it bigger. 

Alzheimer’s patients live in a small, enclosed village alongside caregivers. Everyone who works in the village is a trained caregiver, wearing regular clothes, to mimics life outside of the village. The village has restaurants, grocery stores and beauty salons all staffed with caregivers who can provide care wherever needed. The village is modelled after a small town, with a simple goal: provide the most normal possible life, reminiscent of each individual's formative years.

The patient believes they are leading the situation, but the caregiver is totally leading. This is everything an Alzheimer's patient could ever desire.

To learn more watch the CNN special. 

Note one of the founders of the village, Yvonne van Amerongen, at 5:50: "It's normal, but it's very hard to be normal."

CNN's Dr. Gupta travels to Hogewey, a small village in Weesp, the Netherlands, where every resident has severe dementia.