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Why Can't Every Nation Have a Dignified 'Dementia Village' like the Netherlands?

My health systems & public policy class learned about this "village" that's much more than the typical nursing home, where many seniors die.

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CNN highlights the Netherlands' so-called "Dementia Village" where caretakers act as waitors in restaurants, grocery store check-out attendants, hair stylists, and much more in order to provide the elderly who are suffering from dementia a safe, dignified, calm and embracing community to live out their final years of life and to overcome the challenges of aging beyond their control.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Is it possible to replicate this type of environment to bring communal comfort to other individuals who are suffering from other terminal diseases toward the end of their life? Can we provide places for people to age and die that are much more than a senior dormitory with a deathbed? What other types of patients need and deserve these same communities of comfort, and how can we provide it?

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I participated in the White House Conference on Aging and there is a Dementia friendly toolkit as an intuitive of a Dementia Friendly America. It is slowly being implemented. Also in MSW grad school, as a therapy I learned about  that can help with what the doctor was saying about sensory and body work with PTs. I have worked dementia and oncology as a social worker. Ten years ago I had Hodgkins (at 25) and was caretaker to my sister as she died of Lung cancer at 42 five years later. I have been on both sides and experienced the loss of self at 25 and had to make meaning of loss. My focus is mental health and Yes we can do this. Thanks -Irene

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