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Pioneering Dementia Care village approved in Suffolk

Plans for ‘the first of its kind’ care village for people living with dementia have been approved in Suffolk. 

The care village follows the Hogeweyk model which was developed in the Netherlands. 

The model encourages the deinstitutionalisation of care and the need to give freedom safely to those with dementia and include them within society. It is expected to be opened in 2023.

Care (Little Court) Ltd has now been given planning permission to develop land off the A143 at Little Wratting near Haverhill in Suffolk, after originally being contested as the land wasn’t designed for residential properties – however, it was deemed an acceptable departure.

The care village is set to have up to 120 people and feature clinic rooms, a pub, a community hall, a theatre, and a restaurant, as well as various walkways and residents living in a ‘family-type setting’ of six-bedroom shared apartments.

couple crossing street

Due to using the Hogeweyk model, the care village is set to show an example of how patients with dementia can access care in the UK, with the model advocating for a ‘paradigm shift’ in nursing.

Hogeweyk say about their approach: ‘The Hogeweyk is the outcome of an innovative and disruptive vision on living, care and wellbeing for people living with severe dementia. It means a paradigm shift in nursing home care.

‘The traditional nursing home has been deinstitutionalized, transformed, and normalized. The Hogeweyk is just like any other neighbourhood.

‘A neighbourhood that is part of the broader society in the town of Weesp. In The Hogeweyk you will find houses where people live together based on similar lifestyles. They can visit the pub, restaurant, theatre, the supermarket or one of the many offered clubs. The concept supports unique needs, lifestyles and personal preferences. Living in The Hogeweyk puts boredom, loneliness and hopelessness in another perspective. It focuses on possibilities, not on disabilities. And it goes without saying that this is all supported by trained professionals.’

Photo by Siarhei Plashchynski

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