Health & Wellness

Canada’s First Memory-Care Village to Open in July

The Village will be home to 72 people living with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia

Canada’s first private village built especially for people with dementia is scheduled to open this July in Langley, BC, near Vancouver.

The concept of a dementia village began in 2007 with the opening of De Hogeweyk in Holland, near Amsterdam. Unlike regular nursing homes, dementia villages allow residents to live and move about freely alongside caregivers in a small village, which is walled and gated to prevent patients from wandering off.

Residents already signed up to live there are expected to move in this August.

The two-hectare (five-acre) village in Langley will be run by a 72-person team and accommodate a 72 residents in six single-story cottages. Residents will have access to a community centre, shared garden, grocery store, café, barbershop, beauty salon, and local pub.

Unlike typical nursing homes, The Village is designed, management says, to go beyond fulfilling the basic needs of residents, instead creating a unique environment where those with dementia can continue living a normal life while getting to spend more time with family.

“Finding a sense of place in a community is essential for a full and meaningful life—as is ensuring each person has the right to direct his or her own day-to-day living in a safe, natural environment,” The Village website states. “By providing true care through genuine, two-way relationships and focusing on the possibilities within each resident, we help them live a life of fun, laughter, love and joy—a full life.”

That full life comes with a hefty price tag, though—monthly costs will range between $6,950 and $7,800, depending on the care required.

The project is a collaboration between Verve Senior Living, which currently manages 34 senior residences across Canada, and Canbrit, a company that specializes in the day-to-day operation of senior-care facilities.

Other British Columbia health-care providers are catching on. Providence Health Care is remodelling two senior residences into villages and is working with the Ministry of Health and Island Health to create a publicly funded dementia village in Comox on Vancouver Island. The seven-hectare (17-acre) village is expected to house 126 residents, though no announcement about when it will open has been made.