Fences give freedom: people with dementia living in Denmark in a private village

Ove the chicken Whisperer is. In the afternoon you come in the living room, sitting on his lap. “You like to watch,” says the 58-Year-old with the dark-gray beard. Seven eggs he had collected earlier today. “A good day.”

A good day also, because Ove Hansen recalls in the afternoon of the eggs from the Morning. This is not, of course, here in the dementia village in the Danish city of Svendborg.

Dementia, the Affected person described as Black holes in the memory, as a Confetti in the head. The brain loses power, it is one of the most common diseases in old age. The German Alzheimer’s society believes that in Germany alone, around 1.6 million people are affected. About two-thirds of the dementia, a Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Dementia: these are the four most common dementia forms

In the beginning many people do not get even with that something is wrong. Later, they live in an alternative world. In the supermarket, to the hairdresser – what once was, of course, does not work anymore suddenly. Physically, many are not so fit, that ordinary nursing homes meet them.

  • Dementia history: Three stages in the nerves dying

Residents fence isn’t it

The municipality of Svendborg on the Danish island of Funen has therefore set up a separate village for 125 people with dementia. It is a city in the city, with a Shop, a hairdresser, a fitness Studio, a Café and a pond. Here you can live as before, in their own home or residential community – and yet protected.

"If I want to run in the Park, I walk in the Park", the 81-year-old Jytte says Voigt determined. The loved one along with a handsome man. Jytte still speaks fluent English – but of a walk in the place you would not find back. In the dementia village, you can not be lost. It is a paradox: The fence at the end of the road and the Park gives the residents freedom. Most take it not true.

"It is a good way of giving people a more normal life geben", Svendborgs mayor Lars Erik Hornemann says. The dementia village is part of the city, "but, müssen&quot not be supervised in the the people all of the time;. The residents are between 50 and 102 years old. You can go for a walk, to a coffee date, shopping. Chocolate is the best seller in the Store. Relatives come to visit, have to tell the residents a lot more than in a home. "This also makes the Visit einfacher", project Manager Annette Søby says.

The sick could go at any time

Dementia villages there are also in the Dutch town of De Hogeweyk, and in Germany, near Hameln in Tönebön on the lake. Other than there, but the dementia are not sick and locked up in Svendborg. "The bans in Denmark, the Gesetz", Søby says. Theoretically, every inhabitant can go out in the neighborhood – if he finds the exit. "Then you have a GPS, so that we can track them down in case of emergency." Many do not see but the well-hidden exit. The foil-covered glass door is so nondescript that it’s better to be next door to the Café.

"Compared with the average nursing home dementia villages are, in each case, a Fortschritt", Susanna Saxl, the German Alzheimer’s society says. The device does not need to be part of the neighborhood – what’s working, at least in De Hogeweyk and Tönebön. In Svendborg, a children’s Playground is to be built for the grandchildren of the residents and for the neighborhood kids. Everyone could here go for a walk or in his dog run, says Søby. "We want to be an open place."

Also, the Nuremberg-based dementia researchers, Wolf Dieter Oswald of pure "Villages of the Alten". In the care it needs just like for the disabled concepts of social participation and inclusion give, he demands. Søby replies: "There is a reason that the people are here." Because they don’t come any more unprotected just to be clear.

No theatre, no backdrop

In some of the dementia villages, the inhabitants lived in an illusory world, like in the "Truman Show", critics say. In the game film with Jim Carrey in the main role of the insurance employees of Truman Burbank does not know that he is part of a TV series and that his life is accompanied, since its birth, by actors in a setting.

"It is not a real Dorf", also Saxl to the project in Svendborg says. In the Dutch town of De Hogeweyk there is even a bus stop that never stops a Bus. Nevertheless, the Old sit here and wait. "You are being a little vor", criticized Søby. "We want to be no backdrop, no theatre. It is about real people." Then, dear rabbit, strawberry fields and carrot beds. Or chickens who lay real eggs for real cake. "The chicken I had immer&quot already;, Ove says. The fact he can remember.