Dutch Uncles…

Bill Myers, senior editor, Provider Magazine.

Bill Myers, senior editor, Provider Magazine.

Good morning, ProviderNation.

A postcard from the Dutch awaits us this morning. Folks there have opened a living center called De Hogeweyk, or Dementiavillage. Architecture blogger Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan gives us a tour:

“Hogeweyk, from a certain perspective, seems like a fortress: a solid podium of apartments and buildings, closed to the outside world with gates and security fences. But, inside, it is its own self-contained world: Restaurants, cafes, a supermarket, gardens, a pedestrian boulevard, and more.”

The idea appears to be catching on. Already, Campbell-Dollaghan tells us, a similar place has opened in Switzerland, this one made up to look like a Swiss village from the 1950s. And the Great, Grey Lady tells us that unnamed “companies” are looking into the place, too.

For Campbell-Dollaghan, the moral of the story is simple:

“What Hogeweyk reveals, though, is the culturally ingrained way we distinguish between those who do and don’t suffer from dementia. By treating residents as normal people, Hogeweyk seems to suggest that there isn’t such a huge difference, deep down—just differing needs. By designing a city tailored to those unique needs, residents avoid the dehumanization that long-term medical care can unintentionally cause.”

Not exactly news for those who have long committed to person-centered care, of course. But then, there are some who are afraid that “person-centered care” has become such a buzz word that it’s being drained of its meaning.

But, speaking of quality care: Mad props to the fine folks at Timberview Care Center, who have just received a shout-out from Oregon regulators for their commitment to patient safety and care. (Bill Myers is senior editor at Provider magazine. You can reach him at wmyers@providermagazine.com or follow him on Twitter, @ProviderMyers.)

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