Canada Is Building Special Village for Patients With Dementia

“We believe that it’s really important for people to be connected to nature and life and the outdoors.”


A sketch of the planned community grounds, provided by The Village.

Dementia patients and their families all over Canada are getting exciting news these days, as the construction of a new village in British Columbia was recently announced. This isn’t just any old village, however – it is a place specifically designed for the well-being of senior citizens suffering from dementia.

Once finished, the community, which will simply be called The Village, will host a few dozen cottages and shared living spaces for up to 72 dementia patients. Construction workers started building The Village in Langley, BC earlier this week.

Elroy Jespersen, vice-president of special projects at Verve Senior Living and the mastermind behind the Village, told CTV News that he wanted dementia patients to feel the same amount of independence as their able-bodied counterparts. The Village aims to offer them a controlled space in which to live their lives, free of worry and the stress of always “running into a locked door”.

He told CTV: “We believe that it’s really important for people to be connected to nature and life and the outdoors.”

The initiative draws inspiration from Hogeweyk, a similarly-designed community in the Netherlands that was declared the world’s first village for dementia patients. The compound offers everything a regular village would, from supermarkets and stores, to restaurants and gardens.

The Village currently is being developed through private funding and will be completed by spring of next year. Its organizers hope that the government will eventually assist with some of the resident’s costs and fund many more such amazing places for dementia patients to live out their days in dignity.

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