Judith B. Paul Law Blog

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

November 2016 The Netherlands Trip

I attended a thought provoking challenging visit to the Netherlands learning about their  concepts of elder care, dementia, end of life care and assisted suicide.  

The Dutch, I was informed, feel their elderly should stay home as long as possible and cared for by their families, friends and neighbors and some public nurses, health care givers.  The support is simply expected and apparently provided.    Anyone who has had to have a elderly relative or friend hospitalized, especially someone with dementia knows that the individual never fully recovers his memory to the same point as before going into the hospital.   And if the individual has had surgery, their memory loss seems so much greater after the surgery which is why we worry so much about falls and broken bones. Staying home or in a home-like situation seems to keep the individual more memory focused and alert.

Sometimes dementia patients cannot stay home for the same reasons they can't stay in their own homes anywhere: they might wander, or fall, don't eat, forgot or refuse to take medication and other issues associated with memory loss. For persons with type 5 or 7 dementia (very serious), there are humane, living facilities for people called neighborhoods: 

The Dutch have a dementia village outside of Amsterdam which we were able to visit and found it to be very impressive. 

The Website states: 
The Concept:

Around the common and familiar building blocks lifestyles are built from a social approach. Look at day to day life and create conditions for the residents so that they are challenged by recognizable incentives to remain active in daily, precious life. In the nursing home groups residents with shared interests and backgrounds live together in a lifestyle-group. The design and decoration of the homes and surroundings is tailored to the lifestyles.

De Hogeweyk, Amsterdam, Weesp – NL (2009)

This residential area consists of 160 residents. They live with each other in lifestyle groups, with a maximum of seven people per group. They share similar interests and backgrounds. The decor, design and direct environment of the dwellings are adapted to suit each separate lifestyle. Lifestyles consist of recognizable and everyday elements. When it comes to their own daily life, residents experience so many recognizable stimuli that they are challenged to continue participating in that lifestyle.

For great information see the attached website:

The Village has won numerous international awards such as :

• Winnaar van de Gastvrijheidszorg Award 2010 (“Hospitality Care” Award 2010)

• Nominatie voor Hedy d’Anconaprijs 2010, excellente zorgarchitectuur) (Nominated for the Hedy d’Ancona Award 2010, Excellence in Health care architecture)

• Gouden Kwaliteitskeurmerk van Perspect 2006 (Golden label for Quality by Perspect 2006)

• Project of the World, Expo 2000 Hannover

• International Hospital Federation Award 1995, for innovative management

Can your memory care unit or hospital or nursing home or Assisted Living Center say that?  


Italy is developing and building a dementia village in Rome for 100 residents.


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