Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are terrible illnesses that are both socially and medically tough to deal with. The Hogewey center in the Netherlands, however, is helping pioneer a sensitive new form of care for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients by creating a safe, gated village where they can roam freely and lead normal lives.

The enclosed village of De Hogeweyk, located in the town of Weesp, has everything – a grocery store, parks, a restaurant, a bar and a theater. Its 23 homes house 152 seniors suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The center, designed by the Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen architecture firm, opened in 2009. It cost the Dutch government 17.8 million euros (20.1 million USD), with an additional 1.5 million (1.7 million USD) coming from local organizations. The cost for a single resident is around 5,000 euros (5,657 USD) a month.

More info: hogeweyk.dementiavillage.com | mbvda.nl (h/t: twistedsifter)

Hogeweyk isn’t your regular quiet Dutch village

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Image credits: msagd.rlp.de

It’s home to 152 dementia and Alzheimer’s patients

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Image credits: Madeleine Sars

Life is normal, however – there’s even a supermarket!

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Image credits: Hans Erkelens

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Image credits: Hans Erkelens

Other amenities include a restaurant, a theater and a bar

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Image credits: Hans Erkelens

The residential buildings are separated by interior decor styles

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Image credits: KopArt, Amstelveen

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Image credits: KopArt, Amstelveen

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Image credits: msagd.rlp.de

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Image credits: Hans Erkelens

The center, designed by the architects at Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen, opened in 2009

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Image credits: msagd.rlp.de

The center cost the Dutch government and local organizations 19.3 mil. euros (21.8 mil. USD)

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Image credits: Hans Erkelens

The caretakers and staff dress in everyday clothes to appear normal

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Image credits: Hans Erkelens

The patients that live in “up-scale” suites sometimes treat caretakers like neighbors or workers

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Image credits: Anita Edridge

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Image credits: Madeleine Sars

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Image credits: msagd.rlp.de

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Image credits: Nieko Roozen

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Image credits: Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen architekten