First village for dementia

Canada's first private care village specifically designed for people with dementia is just weeks away from opening its doors to clients. 

Located in Langley, The Village can house up to 76 people and features "cottage-like" single-level homes, CTV News reports. 

Eitaro Hirota is the project architect, and said the area was designed to allow residents to "find their own daily routine."

"We want to keep the environment as close to the everyday as possible," Hirota said, explaining that the idea is to make it safe and comfortable for the residents to wander about. 

Houses are identified by symbols and distinct colours, and natural elements like fountains have been strategically implemented to distinguish each diverging pathway. 

The complex also includes a "wander management system," which alerts staff to residents straying close to the fences. All of the walkways are specifically designed to have clear destinations, to encourage residents to follow them. 

The Village will have a staff of 72, operated and managed by Verve Seniors Living. Monthly rent for a basic unit is $7,300, and if more complex care is required, the rate climbs to $8,300. 

Alzheimer Society of BC CEO Maria Howard said this is great news for many experiencing dementia in the province. 

"Our long-term care homes are full. A lot of them are not set up to deal with people with dementia," Howard said. "To actually take the outside space and more of a physical setting that looks like a community, this is the first kind. So it's going to be really exciting to see how this grows."

Hirota hopes the village will provide an opportunity for the public to come in and interact with the dementia patients. 

"That mix of bringing in people from the outside of the facility is very important to maintain that sense of the everyday," he said. "I've been talking to the operators about having food carts come in, have seasonal events."

Currently, no income-subsidized spaces are available. 

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