A new community for those suffering with dementia is being built in Switzerland. It’s been nicknamed by locals as “Dementiaville” and what makes it unique is that it is a fully-functioning village designed to mimic the 1950’s era. Caregivers will dress up as gardeners, shop assistants, hairdressers, etc. while taking care of the residents, who will be free to roam throughout the village and who will reside in home settings with a retro flair. It’s a fascinating concept and I’m eager to see how it works out.
I think my dad would have liked a community like this. I often thought of him as being stuck in a time warp, because even when he was mentally sound, most conversations with him centered on topics of the past, such as World War II, Hollywood’s silver screen era, the Kennedy family and the great crooners like Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. I’m sure it’s natural for many people as they get older to start to feel out of touch with the modern world around them, but for my dad, I felt like he really had a soft spot for say, the early to mid 1960’s. I’m not sure if he would have preferred New York City, where he first lived after immigrating to this country from Ireland, or if he would have liked Los Angeles better, where he met my mom and raised his family.
I once wrote about my dad for a college paper: “He would have liked nothing more than to step back in time and never leave the past.” It sounds like with this new residential concept for dementia patients, my dad could have done just that.