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Village opened for dementia sufferers
A village for people with dementia was opened in Denmark on Monday. According to the mayor, the residents can "live almost as before their illness". In other countries such villages have been around for a long time, including Germany.
The number of people with dementia is increasing
There are currently around 1.5 million people with dementia living in Germany, most of whom have Alzheimer's. The number of people affected continues to rise. Health experts have been warning for years that the German healthcare system is not adequately geared towards dementia. One way to provide better care for those affected could be communities that are specifically tailored to the needs of people with dementia.
Village opened for people with dementia
According to the German Alzheimer Society (DAlzG), around 80 percent of all dementia patients in this country are cared for and accompanied by their relatives. However, some are also looked after in nursing homes.
A village has now been opened in Denmark where dementia patients live in 125 apartments and are cared for as needed. The facility in the 27,000-inhabitant town of Svendborg on the island of Funen includes a large park, a music library, a restaurant, shops, a wellness salon and other employment opportunities.
Live almost as before the illness
"The residents can live here almost as they did before their illness," said Mayor Lars Erik Hornemann, according to a report by the dpa news agency. The area of the facility, which is operated by the community, is so large that you don't have to feel locked in. They are also safe there.
The Danish Alzheimer Society welcomed the initiative cautiously, but also expressed concerns that the villagers would be cut off from the outside world. "It worries us if special dementia villages are built in which dementia patients are excluded from the rest of society," said the president of the society, Nis Peter Nissen, according to the "Copenhagen Post".
Dutch village as a role model
The project is being accompanied by researchers from the University College Lillebælt and a social and health school. According to the information, the experience should help with the development of further dementia villages in Denmark. As the mayor said, the municipality was inspired by similar projects in the Netherlands.
Especially the Alzheimer village "De Hogeweyk" near Amsterdam has received international attention. It was also a role model for the first German dementia village south of Hanover, which opened in 2014.
Back then, critics expressed concerns about the risk of Alzheimer's living there in an isolated world. According to dpa, the Nuremberg geriatric researcher Wolf Dieter Oswald said: "It must not be a Disneyland for people with dementia." (Ad)