As we all know Dementia is a syndrome or disorder that is not normal to human ageing. It past interview with Expert Author of “Cracking The Dementia Code” Karen Tyrell she describes our memories as layers to an onion and Dementia is peeling them off. She is one of the driving force to a new concept in caring for people with this disorder that strips people of there memories. A new facility in Langley BC is nearly ready to house people who specialized care and treatment has their memories fade.
The Village Langley is set up to simulate a small town in the 1950s or 1960s but unlike other care villages that are set inside a modified warehouse, this high-tech village is open air. This concept is designed to bring the villager (residents) as close to normal as possible. Let us think about what is normal. Stepping out of or suit in a simulated town with an atrium ceiling is not really normal and our mind knows that it is actually inside. Stepping out of a home on the street with the sun on our face and sounds of animal and the smell of dew and flowers is very normal. This village does exactly that with a barn for chickens and a garden to grow vegetables in real soil. This village is not just some modified farmhouse either.
If you are worried that the people with dementia in the community are going to be left just wander free with the concept guess again. This village is high-tech with wearable GPS locators that open doors, proximity detectors with emergency panic buttons. These devices allow staff to know where villagers are at all times. Staff members have iPad that use to do their charts so information can be shared about the health of every Villager. The creators of the Village understand that for people you have Dementia the challenge is to live a normal life while the ensuring families that their loved are well taken care of. When I got to the Village and was greeted at the front desk I had to be clear and allow into the facility while the space in the open air with lots of beautiful green space and gardens it is definitely secure the wearable device that open door does not open the door to the main lobby unless the Villager is scheduled to leave the property. Upon my own exit, the lock code was not green and I was not able to open the door and leave until I was cleared by the receptionist.
The staff is trained by Karen Tyrell in the principals outlined by her to listen, investigate, be creative. Everything around us affects our mood and memories when our memories begin to erode so can our timeline. When this starts to happen things like language barriers can happen or people can believe they have a chore or job to do that no longer exists. The Village staff is trained to recognize this come up with creative solutions that will keep everyone safe and happen. Like a sign that tells a person that the cows have been milked because used to be one of their jobs.
Staffing the Village was a challenge because the idea is to have staff who would appear to be a normal part of the home. This also means that the staff has to be cross-trained to do a number of things that will support the Villagers everyday well being. These people are trained so that life is kept as normal as possible. The creators did not spare very many details. This facility even has a general store where Villagers can purchase groceries. Couples are kept together as a normal practice. The facility as the look and feel of home to the resident by design and on propose. Please Listen Here.