A purpose-built “Alzheimer’s Village” in the French commune of Dax will give residents the ability to roam free and go about their daily lives in a new approach to treating the disease. According to The Telegraph, residents will live in shared houses in four districts reminiscent of the southwestern French region.
The village is designed to look like a medieval-style bastide, which is common to the area and will help prevent patients from becoming disoriented. Designed by NORD Architects, the village will have a local shop, a hairdresser, restaurants, a cultural center, and a healthcare center. Additionally, volunteers will help to stage activities for the residents.
The idea behind the new design approach is that the freedom the design provides will allow patients to lead an almost normal village life and maintain their participation in a social life (which recent research has shown to be a strong factor in living longer, healthier lives).
Oslo Alzheimer's Village with CLT construction. Courtesy NORD Architects.
Plain-clothes medical staff will watch over the residents, who are confined to the village for their own safety, and researchers will conduct a study to see if this new style of care helps patients remain more active, require less medication, and live happier lives. In total, the village will support 120 Alzheimer’s residents, 100 live-in caregivers, and 120 volunteers.
NORD Architects is also working on an Alzheimer Village in Oslo, Norway and will use CLT to construct the project’s various buildings.