The ‘golden years’ stage is an inevitable phase where human bodily functions start to deteriorate. Our physical body gets weak and will easily get tired even with minimal activities. During this phase, we begin to lose our senses of vision and hearing. But there’s nothing more agonizing than to lose our precious memories. Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder that typically occurs in elderly due to the deterioration of the nervous system. Although there are medications that can temporarily slow down its progression, there is no treatment that can cure this disorder. When we get old someday, we’ll have no other choice but to succumb to this disease. And just consider it as a part of life. Since we cannot escape this infirmity, France decided to build an Alzheimer’s Village for patients with this disease.
The Village Landais Alzheimer will make way for a special facility where patients with Alzheimer’s can live comfortably and freely. The Alzheimer’s Village is located in Dax, France and construction is currently ongoing. It will feature residential areas within an enclosed facility where patients can live their life without medications. To put it simply, the village will provide all the necessities so patients will never have to worry about anything else. They only need to enjoy life full of freedom and emancipation.
The Alzheimer’s Village is governed and funded by the French national and local government, other French associations, and several stakeholders. In addition to housing areas, it also includes a supermarket, restaurants, library, gym, hairdresser, and other facilities. There will also be in-house medical staff to look after the residents. But medical care won’t involve any type of medication. Neurologist Jean-François Dartigues explains that allowing them to continue living in a typical lifestyle can improve patients’ minds and behaviors.
“They will find a form of integrity, social, human. They will do their shopping, go to the hairdresser, the bistro, the restaurant, the theater,” he says.
Architects from Champagnat & Grègoire and NORD took the task of designing the Alzheimer’s Village. Inspired by medieval fortress, the architects decided to group the houses in blocks of four and construct each block around the courtyard. Furthermore, each block will have a distinguishing feature. To connect the patients with nature, trees and plants will adorn the sides of the walkways to add greeneries to the village.
The Alzheimer’s Village consists of houses in block of four built around a courtyard
Moreover, over 200 volunteers pledged to carry out activities that will enhance the patients’ social interaction. These activities include outdoor events such as gardening, boules pitch, and other fun-filled games. The Alzheimer’s Village is set to open by the end of 2019.
Source: Champagnat & Grègoire / NORD