France is taking a revolutionary approach in treating their citizens who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. To combat the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, France thought of building a specially designed village to let their people with the progressive memory loss live freely.
The specially designed village will be established in Dax near the their border with Spain. The new city will have their own supermarket, health center, hair salon and spa, shopping establishments, gym, library, and farm to sustain the needs of their residents.
Although the patients will be called as residents and will be allowed to roam around freely and continue their normal lives, still, the village will have a protective enclosure for their vulnerable residents.
The medical staff, nurses, and doctors will be wearing plain clothes and will be encouraged to give less medication. Volunteers are also encouraged to help keep the city-in-progress alive and kicking!
The developers had allocated €29 million to make their plans possible, hoping that the new village would help people with Alzheimer’s and dementia to lead an active and happy life. The new village will be built to accommodate at least 120 residents, 100 care staff, and 120 volunteers. The village will also include service trained dogs to help their future residents escape their psychological isolation.
Since the village is catered to fulfill the special needs of those with Alzheimer’s, the architecture of the ideal village designed their place to accommodate people who have difficulty in walking, in accessing their memory, and in sensing the right direction.
“We hope that the patients will be less constrained and anxious, happier. The same goes for the medical staff.” Françoise Diris, president of the France Alzheimer Landes association, shared their vision. “We hope patients will be happier.”
For people who are struggling with Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, leading a normal life can be difficult. The fast-progressive disease does not only make one forget, but also disconnects its victim from responding to their environment.
As of now, there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, however, various treatments such as what France have in mind is utilized to maximize the quality of life of those with Alzheimer’s. In addition, France’s newest project is based on a similarly designed village located in Weesp, Netherlands which was developed by the late Henri Emmanuelli.
The revolutionary approach aims to find out if this treatment will deliver better result than confining those with Alzheimer’s in nursing homes. Their specially designed village will prove if this approach indeed makes residents more active and happier even with less drug medication.
It is also very thoughtful of the people behind this project for choosing to use a traditional historic design for the village instead of a modern one. They knew that choosing a modern architecture can confuse their residents with Alzheimer’s, hence they chose a traditional structure.
The village project for those with Alzheimer’s has already began construction last May. With a hopeful heart, may it truly alleviate the sufferings of our brothers and sisters suffering from the vicious hands of dementia.
Photos: NORD Architects | Video: Newsweek