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First Seniors Community Supporting Dementia Opening in 2019

Kimberley Fowler
By Kimberley FowlerAugust 3, 2018
First Seniors Community Supporting Dementia Opening in 2019

Set to open in 2019, The Village – a prospective memory care community located in British Columbia – will be a place like no other in Canada.

Located in a quiet neighbourhood within the community of Langley, The Village will provide a safe haven for people living with dementia, allowing residents to “live their life, their way, every day.” The park-like grounds will sprawl across a staggering five acres and residents will have the autonomy and freedom to roam the grounds freely, shop in the town square or visit the salon and spa. The philosophy of care at The Village will be one rooted in independence and respect and will value each resident as a unique individual with a rich life, history and future.

The First Seniors Community Supporting Dementia: The Village

Although The Village is the first memory care community of its kind in Western Canada, the concept was based on the “dementia village model” first established in Europe. The most famous European village, Hogeweyk, located in the Netherlands, was founded in 2008 and has been praised for revolutionizing the way in which we care for people with dementia and other memory issues.

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Residents are treated with dignity and respect and are enabled to make choices and decisions for themselves, allowing them to experience “maximum autonomy and privacy,” while receiving excellent care.

By providing familiarity and freedom, Hogeweyk has created an atmosphere that helps to reduce anxiety in residents and improve their quality of life; and the results speak for themselves. The Economist states that the use of psychotropic drugs to calm patients was reduced from 50% in 1993 (when the community was still a traditional community) to only 8% in 2015. Also, client satisfaction at Hogeweyk is stunningly high, with survey results from 2010 scoring 9.1 out of 10 for resident and family satisfaction.

The Village in Langley, British Columbia will share a very similar philosophical approach to Hogeweyk. According to their website, The Village will not just meet the residents’ basic, physical needs. Equally important is “keeping residents connected to family, and finding a sense of place in a community,” two philosophies that are essential for a full and meaningful life. The Village will also ensure “each person has the right to direct their own day-to-day living in a safe, natural environment.”

Some highlights of The Village include:

  • Family-style dining: Each household eats together socially at a long harvest table and any resident who’s interested can take part in meal preparation
  • Highly-trained support staff: Professional nurses oversee the health care required by each resident and all staff members are specially trained in dementia living and support
  • Meaningful activities: Such as book clubs, carpentry, gardening, watercolour painting and yoga
  • Park-like outdoors: Including five acres of landscaped gardens and pathways, a pet therapy centre and a vegetable garden
  • Pet-friendly grounds
  • Private rooms with ensuites
  • Single-story homes: Private rooms, along with a shared dining room, kitchen, library, living room and activity area
  • Village Squares: Including a cafe with a fireside lounge, a grocery store, salon and spa

The Village’s Philosophy of Care

The Village at Langley will be unlike any other memory care community in Canada.

Traditionally, dementia residents have been confined to communities with relatively simple designs. Although in recent years, communities have worked very diligently to de-hospitalize and redesign the care they provide, there is still an undeniable “institutional” feel to many communities.

Rather than patient-style rooms, The Village will offer cottages peppered throughout the village campus. Each cottage will house 12 residents, with private, home-like rooms and ensuites. Unlike the structured, group-based programming offered in traditional communities, autonomy will be at the heart of The Village, encouraging residents to reclaim their independence, “all within a secure and supportive environment.”

What do you think of the first seniors community supporting dementia? Would you be interested in moving yourself or a senior loved one to The Village? We’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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Kimberley Fowler
Kimberley Fowler

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