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08 NOVEMBER 2014

Hogeweyk: Dutch village designed just for people with dementia

"In the small town of Weesp, in Holland – that bastion of social progressivism – at a dementia–focused living center called De Hogeweyk, aka Dementia Village, the relationship between patients and their care is serving as a model for the rest of the world. ... The idea, explains Hogeweyk's creators, is to design a world that maintains as much a resemblance to normal life as possible – without endangering the patients. For example, one common symptom is the urge to roam, often without warning, which had led most 'memory units' and dementia care centres to institute a strict lock–down policy. In one German town, an Alzheimer's care center event set up a fake bus stop to foil wandering residents. At Hogeweyk, the interior of the security perimeter is its own little village – which means that patients can move about as they wish without being in danger.

Each apartment hosts six to eight people, including caretakers – who wear street clothes – and the relationship between the two is unique. Residents help with everything from cooking to cleaning. They can buy whatever they want from the grocery. They can get their hair done or go to a restaurant. It's those basic routines and rituals that can help residents maintain a better quality of living. ...

People with dementia often struggle with unfamiliar spaces, colours, and even decor. At Hogeweyk, apartments are designed to reach familiar cultural touchstones, categorized into six basic 'genres' of design: 'goois' or upperclass (the decor looks old fashioned), homey, Christian, artisan, Indonesian, and cultural. Each apartment is different, catered to a particular lifestyle, right down to the silverware and furniture. 'Living in lifestyles,' explains Hogeweyk, 'just like before.'

Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen, but it was the brainchild of Yvonne van Amerongen, a caregiver who has worked with memory patients for decades. Starting in the early 1990s, van Amerongen and a group of like–minded caregivers began researching and designing a type of home where residents would participate in life, the same way they did before they entered a dementia care unit. ...

What Hogeweyk reveals 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 dehumanisation that long–term medical care can unintentionally cause."

(All–Generations Care Services, 21 June 2014)

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2009ageing population • Alzheimers • ambachtelijke style • Amsterdam • artisan lifestyle • care centre • care home • care services • caregiver • Christian lifestyle • cultural lifestyle • day to day life • day to day surroundings • De Hogeweyk • degenerative brain illnesses • dementia • dementia sufferer • Dementia Village • dementiaville • elderly • environmental design • extreme dementia • familiar cues • familiar surroundings • familiarityfictional setting • Goois (upper class) • health and social carehealth care • Hogewey • Hogeweyk • Holland • homey • huiselijke • Indonesian • inhabitants • lifestyleliving togethermodel villageNetherlands • normal society living • nursing home • personal autonomypersonal freedom • personal independence • personal safety • personal wellbeing • pioneering institution • psychological perception • residential home • residents • senior citizen • simulationspatial cuesspatial environmentsThe Truman Show (1998)urban simulationvillage • Weesp • weyk • wijk • Yvonne van Amerongen

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 OCTOBER 2013

Modern medicine evokes a Cartesian mind-body dualism

"If we look at the history of medicine, we can see that it became what it is today because of a sweeping social transformation that modernized Europe centuries ago. Urbanization and commerce, along with Protestantism and the Catholic Counter–Reformation, encouraged new ways of conceiving and interacting with nature. It was within this context that 'scientific medicine' was invented and elaborated. The particular scientific model that became predominant in Europe in the seventeenth century accepted the mind–body dualism of René Descartes, for whom the human body is a self–contained, entirely material machine. His contemporary, Baruch Spinoza, on the other hand, elaborated a more relational view, stemming from a Jewish tradition that regards the body as essential to a complex and ultimately spiritual being, and all beings as mutually dependent.

Spinoza's perspective is no less compatible with scientific medicine than the Cartesian view. For science has two complementary ways of explaining: by taking apart–as atomic physics mainly does–and by bringing into relation–as Einstein's relativity theory does. Spinoza was quite aware of the power of the first approach, as elaborated by Descartes and advanced by technologies such as the newly invented microscope. Spinoza acknowledges that the human body is composed of parts, and those parts of smaller parts still. But he recognizes also that bodies are encompassed by, and can be adequately understood only in relation to, unities larger than themselves, until we reach the widest system of all, which is 'the whole of nature.' Spinoza was an early exponent of what is known today as 'systems theory.'

Medicine in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries could have taken a more integrative path, in keeping with Spinoza's insight that we are guardians not only of our bodies, taken individually, but of the entire domain of nature with which they are continuous. Instead–for reasons that this essay will explore – mainstream medicine adopted the Cartesian machine model."

(Raymond Barglow, Tikkun Magazine, March 2002)

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16th century17th centuryAlbert Einstein • atomic physics • atomisticBaruch Spinozabodybringing into relation • Cartesian machine model • Cartesian view • Catholiccomplexitycomposed of partscontingencydualismhealth carehistory of medicinehuman bodyintegrative practices • Jewish tradition • Judaism • mainstream medicine • man and nature • material machine • medicinemicroscopemind-body dualismnatureProtestantismrelational aestheticsrelational viewRene Descartessciencescientific medicine • scientific model • self-contained • social transformation • spiritual being • systems theorytaking apart • theory of relativity • urbansation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 MAY 2013

DRS AGM & Symposium 2013: The Value of Design Research

"You are warmly invited to attend the DRS 2013 AGM and Symposium at Loughborough Design School, UK on Monday 17th June 2013. This year symposium's theme is 'Value of Design Research'. We are fortunate to secure three prominent design researchers to address this year symposium's theme."

(Erik Bohemia)

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2013 • AGM • clamshell devices • collaborative research project • Daria Loi • design researchDesign Research SocietyDRS • emergency ambulances • ethnographically informed study • Georgina Follett • health carehospitalIntel CorporationLoughborough • Loughborough Design School • Loughborough University • paramedic equipment • Sue Hignett • symposiumUK • Ultrabook • University of Dundee • UX innovation • V and AVictoria and Albert Museum

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 MARCH 2009

Ad for Lifeline New Zealand: putting things in perspective

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1990s • affective disorder • anxietyAotearoa New Zealandbringing into relationchanging our relationcommunity services • counselling agency • counselling service • counselling services • crisis support • email counselling • hand-drawn animationhealth care • help service • in perspective • Lifeline New Zealand • magnitudesmental healthmental health disordersmental wellbeingpersonal challenges • personal crisis • personal perspective • personal wellbeingproblem-solving • psychological disorder • psychological perceptionpsychology • put in perspective • put it into perspective • put life in perspective • scalesnowballstresssupport agenciessupport services • telephone counselling service • tv adwellbeingworry

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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