Source: The Guardian
Date of publication: 27th August 2012
Publication type: Website
In a nutshell: How is society to look after the ever-growing number of people with dementia? A curiously uplifting care home near Amsterdam may have the answers. Over the past few months, experts from around the world – Germany, the US, Australia, soon Britain.
Two core principles governed Hogewey’s award-winning design and inform the care that’s given here, says Van Zuthem. First, it aims to relieve the anxiety, confusion and often considerable anger that people with dementia can feel by providing an environment that is safe, familiar and human; an almost-normal home where people are surrounded by things they recognise and by other people with backgrounds, interests and values similar to their own. Second, “maximising the quality of people’s lives. Keeping everyone active. Focusing on everything they can still do, rather than everything they can’t. The cost is comparable to a standard nursing home facility, yet the rewards are priceless.
Dementia in a continually ageing population would mean the number of people is likely to double, to more than 65 million by 230, and treble 20 years later, as predicted by World Health Organisation.
In Britain, an Oxford University study puts the number of people with dementia at more than 800,000, rising to more than 1 million by 2025. We spend £23bn a year on caring for the condition in this country, double the sum we spend on cancer and three times that on heart disease. A quarter of UK hospital beds are now occupied by people with the condition.
In March David Cameron talked of a “national crisis”. As we live longer, and more and more of us develop the degenerative brain illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, which are the most common cause of the condition, how society cares for people with dementia, he said, has become “one of the greatest challenges of our time”.
Length of publication: website pages