Hogeway Village

Randy L. Griffin


I recently traveled to Weeps, Netherlands specifically to visit Hogeway Village which is an entire village dedicated to caring for persons with dementia. Hogeway, a nursing home classified by the Dutch National Health Service has set new standards for environmental design as well as a dignified and compassionate approach to care. The overall philosophy of care focuses on what individuals can still do rather than what they can’t do. The village has a supermarket, café/bar, full theater, beauty parlor and restaurant that is open to the public. Residents live in well-appointed homes within the village that are designed for five or six individuals. Each house opens to wide pathways with well-defined gardens and outdoor spaces with benches, ponds, fountains and communal tables. There are no locked doors and all residents have freedom of movement throughout the village. All staff and volunteers are well trained in progressive dementia care concepts that promote compassion, friendliness, freedom, choice and affirmation. Staff dress in street clothes; there is not a uniform to be seen and no sign of a nurse’s station anywhere in the village. My visit to Hogeway was eye opening to say the least and after interacting with residents and staff and walking around the village I left with a powerful feeling that the possibility for exceptional, progressive dementia care is not beyond our reach.