Creating the Best New Normal

Creating the Best New Normal

I read this interesting article a couple days ago about a Dutch village made entirely of residents with dementia. The residents were allowed to go anywhere in the village and it was setup so there was only one door to get in or out. All the stores and events in the village were managed by caretakers that were trained in caring for dementia patients as well as some skill like cooking, grocery clerk, cutting hair.

What I liked about this article was that the residents could walk around freely. They could explore and feel like this was their home and community while still being supervised at every moment. This article and one of the videos also touched on the power of music. I think I’ll do some more research on the link between dementia and music because there’s some really powerful elements there.

But this village is a really interesting read. The author highlighted that these residents live longer, eat better, and report a higher quality of life. I think that’s attributed to the freedom and “independence” they experience as well as the sense of ownership and having a home all their own.

I know this is something we’re working to create for Jorge. He’s currently living with Mateo and Rachel so he can be supervised, but how can we create a place for him that he feels like is his and where he has the freedom to roam around and not get into anything troublesome? I think the other key takeaway here is having activities like music, grocery shopping, courtyards where he can be engaged and not bored during the day.

What are some other activities that can help with engagement levels – activities that are not overly complicated but that will keep engagement up for a time?

Author: Kelsey Moore