Alzheimer’s is a serious disease that affects the way people think and understand certain things. While it commonly affects the elderly, it can impact people of any age. It is tough to live with and hard for family members to handle.
Most people who have Alzheimer’s’ end up in nursing homes or care facilities because they eventually become unable to care for themselves.
“Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. The greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease (also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s).”
France has come up with an idea that might help some Alzheimer’s patients live more normal lives.
Instead of building more care facilities, they are building a village. The village will be confined for the safety of the patients but will function much like a typical village or city.
The patients will be able to visit each other, go to the store, the library, and do just about anything else they want to do. The village is designed to be easy to navigate, and there will be plenty of staff members to help care for the residents. Instead of wearing white coats and nurses uniforms, they will look like ordinary people.
A press release said,
“In this structure, no white coats will be visible. We will take a non-traditional medical approach, which will secure a positive environment within the housing units.”
The village will be the first of its kind in France, and if it is successful, there may be others build.
There will be researchers on site to monitor and determine how well the residents are doing. They will then compare the results to patients in a care facility. Patients will still be given their medication and assisted with daily activities if needed.
Family members can also visit their loved ones in the village.
They can participate in daily activities with them and see their progress for themselves.
Françoise Diris, president of the France Alzheimer Landes association, said,
“We hope that the patients will be less constrained and anxious, happier. The same goes for the medical staff. Families will also be more relaxed, and feel less guilty.”
Alzheimer’s worsens over time. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over several years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. People with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and various health conditions.
Many people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s go through spells.
When they have good days, they resent being in a nursing home and long for a sense of normalcy. The village could help these people transition and feel more comfortable with allowing staff members to care for them. The village also enables them to retain some of their independence.
“They will find a form of integrity, social, human. They will do their shopping, go to the hairdresser, the bistro, the restaurant, the theater. They will have fun. What constitutes a form of extraordinary therapy.”
Most people agree that this village is a great idea and will help a lot of people.
Hopefully, it is successful and more can be built. People with Alzheimer’s deserve to be happy and feel like ordinary people. This village may just make that possible.
Learn more in the video below.
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