March 1, 2018 1:04 am
Updated: March 1, 2018 1:54 am

A special village for patients with dementia to be built in Vancouver

WATCH: A special village for dementia patients is being built in Vancouver. Linda Aylesworth tells us how it will work.

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The tiny Dutch village of Hogewey is inhabited entirely by elderly people suffering from dementia.

The Dutch government subsidizes the cost of living in the village, which some have called a “make-believe” world where those suffering from dementia can walk around freely and safely.

There are no locked doors so residents can roam outside and socialize. Staff are dressed in street clothes and join residents in the ebb and flow of daily life.

WATCH: A village in the Netherlands inhabited entirely by dementia patients.

A similar “dementia village” is being planned for the site where Vancouver’s St. Vincent’s Hospital once stood.

The redevelopment will provide safe accommodation for 300 residents, becoming one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world.

The village will be a place residents “will have the common space of a kitchen and a dining room where they participate in normal daily life,” according to Jo-Ann Tait of Providence Seniors Care and Palliative Services.

READ MORE: 16X9: Inside the world of dementia, as a painful reality sets in

Everyone will have their own private bedroom and their own front door, allowing them to access the village and its various amenities such as shops and restaurants.

WATCH: Dementia Village an option for a normal life

“You won’t have a sense of a fence or something that might look a little bit threatening because the buildings will serve as that wall,” Tait said.

Construction of the village is expected to be cost between $200 to $300 million. There is no word yet on a start date or completion date for the project.

“I believe that care homes are moving towards a social model where people are engaged in the world,” Tait said.

— With files from Megan Rowney and Francesca Fionda

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