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'dementia Villages' In Holland

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kvalidir | 15:29 Fri 20th Jun 2014 | News
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Just read a really interesting, sad and uplifting article about the way Holland is now starting to house and treat it's dementia sufferers. I think if I get to be that old and suffer from dementia I'd rather live in a dementia village than in a regular care home. Is it right we ' lie' to them to increase their happiness? In this instance I think so, what does everyone else think?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2109801/Dementiaville-How-experimental-new-town-taking-elderly-happier-healthier-pasts-astonishing-results.html

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Thank you kvalidir, you've just solved a few major problems for me, I will now adopt that xx
What are you adopting, psybbs? X
As a carer of people with Dementia and an Ambassador of the "Purple Angel Awareness Campaign". we are now trained that to "lie" to such people is quite ok in the right situation.

I regularly am asked by my 90+ year old residents, where is my Mum and Dad, I will usually try to tactfully distract them from the subject of "where is..."? to "what did your dad do for work"? this usually works. If they persist them I will usually go down the route of "Well I haven't seen them today, maybe we will see them tomorrow, maybe they have gone shopping or I don't think they will come today, the weather is dreadful outside. I try to avoid blatant lies.

The problem is... If you tell them the truth, "I'm sorry but your Mum/Dad has died"! They may be devastated, the y may not. The problem comes with their memory, they have may have forgotten what you told them 5 minutes ago, so will ask you again...where is my Mum and Dad? How often are going to devastate them bye telling them that they are dead. They will often then just become attached to the feeling of devastation, they forget why, but they are still devastated as the emotion will often stay with them. So it is often appropriate to tell little white lies if it is in the persons best interest and only if it is in the persons "best interest!"

Not all people with dementia are "sufferers" many are very happy people, especially as the more lucid points become less. They often have not a care in the world and cope well with the right support, others do not get it so easy, some of these cases are more tragic and heart breaking.

I agree completely, ratter.
The principle in care, is not to give outright lies, but not to correct either. Distraction is usually best. The important thing is to read between the lines. If somebody is asking about their (deceased) mum, sometimes chatting about what she did/ looking at old photos can be helpful. The question is- are they thinking of her, because they are looking for comfort or reassurance. You need to read the underlying message and respond to that.
The problem I see with the Dementia village is, it is ok for mild or less advanced Dementia, while at the start of that video they say it is for severe dementia, it clearly isnt!

My residents would never survive there! many dementia sufferers wanting to go to the toilet will just do it where they are, they will remove their clothing in a cafe and open their bowels on the floor, it matters not one iota where they are, they just don't understand. The other problem is the the place would need so many staff to monitor them and not just on CCTV, they often need protection from other residents and from themselves. I certainly think this place is wonderful but I also think they are painting a very rosy unrealistic picture. Suitable for a few, a nightmare for other!
It would depend hugely on the experience and numbers of staff around. They at least would have a little more personal space than rooms along a unit. My sister and i look after 3 with dementia in the same complex. They seem to do better than those"alone".
Kvalidir, I will also take the opportunity to point out that these days it is not PC. to refer to people with dementia as "sufferers" many don't "suffer" and it gives a very negative outlook!

Just thought I would mention it :-)
I agree with you about the "sufferers" part you wrote, ratter. I have often said i think it is often harder for the relatives to accept than the person. I find it a little frustrating when people say it's the cruellest disease, or they would rather die young than get dementia. I know many who are very content and i know how well we look after ours.
Cross-posted, but agree.
I agree Pixie, the problem would be the level of Dementia and the amount of staff, that video gave the impression of very few staff and people with dementia just wandering, many people with advanced dementia would be terrified and confused. I working a 23 bed home and most cant find their way to the dinning room, their bedroom or any of the 3 lounges, even though they go these place frequently throughout the day and all the different areas have prompts to guide them around the building. Yesterday I spent 20 minutes trying to guide a gentleman with less advanced dementia out of a lift. The problem was, as he walked into the lift he was faced with a large mirror, in that mirror he could see his son in front of him, and myself looking over his shoulder, also in front of him. In his his mind the only way out of that lift was forward toward his son. I eventually got him out of the lift by standing out of site and calling him so he would turn around, it worked. Calling him while I was with him meant nothing, he didn't need to turn around, he could see me in front of him, he just could get to grips why he could walk forward to see us, even though he could clearly see us both in front of him! It was a comical situation, he was as amused as I was, he thought I had completely lost the plot!!
Sorry I have used could instead of couldn't, Grrr

Maybe I am the one that lost the plot!!
Lol. Sometimes they make you wonder! Mirrors can be trouble- yes. Especially when they don't recognise themselves.

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