To see a loved one struggling with dementia is heartbreaking. That’s why places like HammondCare in Cardiff, New South Wales, Australia, are so important and groundbreaking.
The facility that recently opened in Cardiff was designed specifically for patients suffering from severe dementia. It’s laid out like an actual village, complete with houses and shops, and can accommodate 99 residents. The HammondCare village in Cardiff is based on similar villages in Europe, where dementia patients have been found to have a much better quality of life.
Angela Raguz of Hammond Residential Care says, “There is a growing body of evidence that people living in functioning homes have better outcomes for quality of life, they are less likely to be transferred to hospital inappropriately, and are less likely to have the wrong medications being given.”
Raguz adds, “For people with dementia, it is really important to give them a continuing sense of things they are familiar with. The idea of the built environment is that we design environments that enable a person to see or sense where they would like to go.”
The residents are allowed to live freely, and nurses are on staff 24 hours a day. According to Raguz, it allows patients to have their independence while having on-hand care if needed. Patients have their own small homes with kitchens and living areas, and outside they can visit shops, small parks, and even a hairdresser.
And while it seems like this kind of service would only be reserved for the wealthy, “No one, regardless of their financial circumstances, is excluded from being able to access this type of care. If you don’t have money, it’s not a reason not to call, or to come and have a look. The care is provided to all equally.”
Amen to that. This is a great idea.