The village for Alzheimer's patients that will allow them to continue their lives without medication

A promising-revolutionary project in an environment that looks like a medieval fortress

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Alzheimer's disease is the most common form dementia and is a major medical, social, and economic problem for developed societies with high life expectancy.

Speaking of numbers, Alzheimer's affects 5-8% of the world's population over the age of 65 (47,5 million people according to the WHO, 2015), increases significantly with age, but can also affect young people, making up most common type of dementia, accounting for 60-70% of cases, with an average life expectancy of between 8 and 10 years from the onset of symptoms.

Something that seems to have been of great concern to the authorities in southwestern France in recent years France The number of Alzheimer's dementia cases is estimated at 900.000, with 225.000 new cases each year, and the number of sufferers is expected to exceed one million by 2020 and exceed two million by 2040 - and more specifically in Landes County, who since 2017 are working on a promising and highly revolutionary project, which is expected to change the lives of both residents of the area - in the wider area about 8.000 people suffering from the disease or similar - suffering from Alzheimer's as well as their families.

This is none other than the "Village of Alzheimer's" or French "Village Landais Alzheimer", which is expected to open in late 2019, allowing patients to continue their lives without drugs and restrictions, in a safe environment, fully harmonized with the area around it.

The revolutionary philosophy of Village Landais Alzheimer

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According to the village leaders, there are two different types of treatments for the disease. One is through medication (their effectiveness, of course, is a major topic of discussion today) and the other is about non-pharmacological approaches, which aim to stimulate the brain's ability to help improve the quality of life of the patient and his family. .

The second is followed by Village Landais Alzheimer, which is the only one of its kind in the whole country and is a project that responds to a national and European ambition in terms of social life, health and research for improving the quality of life of patients and their caregivers.

The village offers anthropocentric support and non-pharmacological approaches, which are supported by therapeutic activities that maintain, as far as possible and feasible, the cognitive and practical abilities of the inhabitants.

A village fully adapted to its inhabitants

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In order to apply its philosophy to 100%, the village will function as a real village, where its inhabitants will enjoy a significant freedom of movement - something they previously could not do.

The design of the space has been undertaken by the architectural offices Champagnat & Grégoire and Nord Architects, which imagined a village whose life will revolve around a central space: the Bastide, something like the village square.

The "heart" of the village, therefore, will have common meeting places, such as restaurants, library, meeting room, medical center with 10 separate rooms for practitioners and therapists, supermarkets and food stores, and even a hair salon!

Alzheimer's, dementia, PATIENT, France, villages

As the village psychologist Charlotte Meynard states, “we believe that in an environment like that of the village, patients they will be less melancholy ".

Village Landais Alzheimer will be divided into four neighborhoods - building blocks, each of which will consist of four houses and will be connected by green paths, where residents can enjoy their walks. Inspired by the traditional architecture of the area and spread over an area of ​​more than 50 acres, they will host a total of 120 residents.

Each house will accommodate 7-8 inhabitants, while they are designed to offer a familiar and family lifestyle, with respect for the independence and privacy of each.

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In addition, outside the village will be given the opportunity to those residents who wish to enjoy their passion for gardening in the public vegetable garden or to take care of the animals on the mini farm.

From a technical point of view, the shapes, materials and all the equipment were chosen to favor the natural light and to ensure the sustainability of the space, with a simple, scalable and economical operation. In particular, the project aims to achieve high energy efficiency as well as environmental performance in the long run.

The staff of the village

In the village will be active multidisciplinary and multifaceted staff (doctors, nurses, geriatric care assistants, psychologists, physiotherapists), while there will be administrative staff for its smooth operation. Finally, a very important role will be played by the volunteers, who are an integral part of the project. Bringing local life to the heart of the village, they will contribute in their own way to the therapeutic innovation that characterizes Village Landais Alzheimer.