Home NEWS Local Scene Dealing With Dementia – How One Country Does It

Dealing With Dementia – How One Country Does It


We know many people are frightened of the topic, preferring to kick the can of our inevitable decline down the road or not to address it at all. But it is a reality we accept, and we wanted to see how at least one country has chosen to deal with those who have lost their precious memories.

As usual, the idea for this came to us after a particularly moving moment with a person who had forgotten his wife’s name and most, if not all, of his wonderfully robust past. His condition is heartbreaking, of course, but more than that it dramatically pointed out how we treat those with Alzheimer’s in this country. And, as usual, it left us wondering if perhaps there wasn’t another way.

This CNN-produced segment focuses on a “village” in the Netherlands where the common, underlying condition for entry is that an occupant have the disease. We found their approach to compassionate care impressive, and wondered if the same model could be made to work in this country.

We’d like to hear from family members, caregivers, medical professionals and persons running assisted living, senior care facilities to see what they thought about this system, if there’s a comparable model here in the U.S., and if they think it should be brought here if not here already.

Can it be done? Should it be done? Would you want your parents treated in this manner? And is this how, if things came down to it, you would want to end your days?


  1. It must be nice to live in a country that cares about its people even as they advance into old age. They seemed very proud and they should be.

  2. This runs in our family and we have had to find places that would take family members who did not recognize us. It is heartbreaking and I could not help thinking there had to be a better way. Watching these people made me cry.

  3. The worst day of my life was the day we put my mother into a home. She knew what was happening and the look in her eyes haunts me to this day.

  4. I’m sure this is a wonderful program, but my definition of “compassionate care” is letting your elderly parents remain in their home, or take them into your home. It’s what they want. If medical care is needed, there’s home health care.

    You find out who your real friends are when chips are down. Elderly parents find out what their middle aged children really think of them when they need you. Regardless of very busy lives, my elderly parents are a priority.

    I don’t have the heart to put my parents in a home, but I understand it’s a personal decision. Every family is different.

    • @Danielle – We hear you. We have a 91-year-old kicking around here somewhere. He must be off for his Friday afternoon tango lesson. They keep things interesting!

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