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Denmark's first dementia village welcomes residents

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Denmark's first dementia village welcomes residents
Similar projects are planned in a number of other Danish cities. Photo: Torben Christensen/Scanpix
09:20 CET+01:00
A new village will open its doors to upwards of 225 residents on Monday.
It will have 125 homes, a shopping street, a fitness centre, a hobby centre, a full library and a restaurant serving up high-quality food. But this isn't just a matter of a new development popping up. Rather, it is a village reserved solely for people suffering from dementia. 
 
Svendborg Demensby (Svendborg Dementia Village) is the first of its kind in Denmark, modelled after similar projects in the Netherlands, Italy and Canada. 
 
Located on the island of Funen, the project has expanded an existing care centre into a self-contained village that will give dementia sufferers a safer place to live and more fulfilling life than what they would find in a typical elderly care centre. 
 
"Dementia Village, with its good framework and fantastic opportunities for physical activities, will help give its residents a better quality of life. Dementia Village will also give us incredibly unique experience that we can apply to other care centres with demented residents," Svendborg Municipality spokeswoman Hanne Ringgaard Møller said. 
 
The Danish Alzheimer's Association (Alzheimerforeningen) cautiously welcomed the initiative but expressed concerns about the village's residents being cut off from the outside world. 
 
“It concerns us if you build special dementia villages where you exclude those with dementia from the rest of society,” the head of the association, Nis Peter Nissen,  told news agency Ritzau..
 
While the Svendborg Demensby is the first in the nation to open its doors, it won't be the last. Similar projects are underway in Aalborg, Odense and Herning.
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