Dutch nursing home creates fake village for residents

At the Hogewey nursing home, things are definitely not as they first appear.

Hogewey, an Alzheimer’s Care community on the outskirts of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, doesn’t have an institutional look. In fact, the community was designed to mimic a small-town village so residents feel at home.

In the village, which houses 152 residences in 23 apartments, seniors can visit the local hairdresser, eat at their favorite restaurant, and even go shopping. But these stores are all fake: they are manned by nurses and other staff members of the community.

“The front stage is what all the residents experience as a normal way of living, their normal home. But backstage, we are a nursing home,” Hogewey’s information officer Isabel van Zuthem told ABCNews.com.

“Everything is arranged to give all residents all the care they need. But they feel like they're living a normal life, and that's what we think is very important,” she said.

She told the news source that if residents ask whether the village is real, staff members can’t lie, and will say that the village was created for their comfort and safety, but that Alzheimer’s sufferers typically wouldn’t remember the answer for more than a few minutes.