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Thursday, July 25, 2024

As Cases Soar, ‘Dementia Villages’ Look Like the Future of Home Care

A new generation of treatment facilities is aiming to integrate dementia patients with the communities around them, blurring lines between home and hospital.

Reporting from Weesp, the Netherlands

On a recent morning in this quiet village outside Amsterdam, an older woman stocked shelves inside the local supermarket. In the plaza just outside the store, a group of men sat around a table, chatting the hours away. Over in the town square, a woman in a hijab sipped coffee outside the cafe.

If it looked like a typical Dutch town — with a restaurant (which is open to the public), a theater, a pub and a cluster of quaint two-story brick townhomes on a gridded street map — well, that’s the point. Many of the people here don’t realize that they are living in the world’s first so-called “dementia village,” and it can be difficult for visitors to tell the difference between the residents and the plainclothes staff.

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