The Dutch dementia village that the Borders studied is Hogeweyk to Hawick

Hogeweyk labor

Hogeweyk and Hawick almost have the same sound if you speak quickly enough.

They might, however, share more in common in a few years than just a similar pronunciation.

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) has ideas for two developments in Hawick and Tweedbank after visiting the Dutch "dementia village".

The Hogeweyk site's founder, Jannette Spiering, claimed that the idea had taken a long time to develop.

She has spent the last 40 years working with the Vivium care group, and in 1993 she began developing a vision for normalizing care for those who have severe dementia.

Hogeweyk was started in 2002 and finished in 2006.

The whole thing is that existing care models, which are truly focused on medical care, did not satisfy us, she said.

"We reasoned that by concentrating on social care in addition to medical care, we could perform better. ".

She called it a "real cultural shift" in the way that housing and care were delivered.

Jannette Spiering
The Dutch village of Hogeweyk was founded by Jannette Spiering.

She explained, "It's about a care model and the built environment.

"We can accommodate 188 people because we have 27 houses, each with seven occupants. ".

She claimed that everyone who visited the site, of which there have been hundreds, had their perception of care "radically changed.".

According to her, "the built environment is entirely different from any institutional nursing home that we are familiar with.".

The Hogeweyk is about communal living, which entails seven people living in one house with caretakers.

"They manage their own home, or rather, care staff manage the home and residents participate. ".

Residents, according to Ms. Spiering, are free to travel whenever and wherever they please.

It was about turning "big wards of frequently 30 people" into "normal environments," she claimed.

One of the biggest changes is living with seven other people, she said.

"Having the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want, without assistance or being watched by a carer," she added, was another difference.

Despite being a very large neighborhood, Ms. Spiering continued, "The Hogeweyk is still a safe environment because there is an entrance that is watched.".

"People are free to go wherever they want in that neighborhood, and we want to integrate society with our neighborhood as much as we can. ".

There are room for seven people in each of the 27 houses that make up the Hogeweyk.

They do this by bringing tourists from nearby areas to the Hogeweyk.

Because dementia is so heavily stigmatized, she said, "we try to lift the stigma of dementia.".

"In the past, we kept people hidden and pretended they were unable to function in society.

I disagree, however, and believe that society lacks the knowledge necessary to interact with those who have dementia because there are times when requests for a different approach necessitate understanding what dementia entails. ".

It was all about treating people as normally as possible, she claimed.

The Dutch concept places a lot of emphasis on removing the stigma associated with dementia.

She claimed, "If you enter the Hogeweyk, it's just another neighborhood.".

"You won't even be able to tell who is a resident, a volunteer, or a family member.

"Normalizing the environment greatly aids in reducing stigma. ".

She claimed that the residents, whose average age was around 84, also benefited.

"People will start to behave like they are in a hospital if you lock them up in a facility that looks like a hospital," she said.

"They feel anxious and want to leave because they are uncomfortable in that environment, and they frequently believe they are ill. ".

In addition to offering a social life, she claimed that offering a "normal environment and a normal house" could make a significant difference.

She said, "That helps in having a good life and having one that is meaningful.". "Normalization is, I believe, the key word. ".


Ms. Spiering expressed her interest in following the progress of SBC's multimillion-pound plans as "very curious.".

It recently approved $11 point 2 million plans for the Stirches neighborhood in Hawick, which could house 60 people.

Two more traditional care homes would be replaced by a similar development in Tweedbank.

The local government emphasized that Hogeweyk was only one example that had served as inspiration for its ideas.

To support its design plans, it has also collaborated with Stirling University's Dementia Services Development Centre.


In a statement, it said, "Importantly, we need to make sure we are meeting the needs of the people of the Borders.

We are concerned that the designs will ensure flexibility of use both now and in the future because the care villages will be the home to a variety of clients with varying and very different needs. ".

As the plans develop, it has promised to conduct additional community engagement and consultations.

The Netherlands is keeping a close eye on everything.

I sincerely hope they are able to produce something that is in keeping with Scottish culture, said Ms. Spiering.

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