Canada’s first dementia village close to opening

Langley project to provide home-like surroundings for between $83,400 and $93,600 a year

As Canada’s first village-style home for people with dementia prepares to open this August in Langley, about 60 people have signed up for the 72 rooms, project leader Elroy Jespersen said.

“They’ve registered and paid deposits,” he advised.

Construction of The Village memory care project on 6.96 acres at the former Bradshaw Elementary site (3920 198 St.) is expected to be completed by the end of June, after which several weeks will be required to equip and staff the facility.

A public open house is planned for the end of July.

Similar to similar to the Hogewey project in the Netherlands, where seniors with dementia live in a specially designed village, the Langley complex includes squares, gardens and a park where the residents can safely roam, along with a grocery store, restaurant, bar and theatre streets.

“What we want is to create a space where people can live life to the best of their ability in their own way,” Jespersen said.

“Whether they want to go shopping for groceries, meet a friend for a coffee or go and feed the animals, we want them to have the freedom to do so.

An update on the project quoted a base rate of $6,950 per month, while the complex care rate is $7,800 per month.

Annually, that works out to between $83,400 and $93,600.

That was more than the estimates in a 2018 newsletter that said prices were projected to start at $195 per day ($5,900/month) and go up to $245 per day ($7,550/month).

“We needed to add more things,” Jespersen said.

Among the added expenses, he said the village was planning to hire licensed practical nurses, but the health authority insisted they employ registered nurses.

In B.C, subsidized long-term residential care is based on a percentage of income and costs up to a maximum of $3,278.80 a month, or about $39,000 a year.

However, as noted by the Fraser Health website, the subsidized fee may not cover many things, including telephone, television cable or internet charges, some types of medication, special outings or social events, health equipment like wheelchairs with unique features, or walkers.

The village project doesn’t get government subsidies.

READ MORE: VIDEO: The Village ‘first private memory care community of its kind in Western Canada’

READ MORE: Dementia villages offer secured freedom to aging B.C. patients

The Langley complex will consist of six single-storey cottages with one main, two-storey community building where up to 76 people with dementia can live in a village setting complete with cottages, shops, a café, a farm, a salon, fish and duck pond, crafting and art spaces, and a community centre.

Staffed by 72 employees, The Village will also include a gated entry, eight-foot perimeter fence with a resident location monitoring system, a 24/7 caretaker, and staff on site at all times.

All the rooms and features of a typical house are provided in each cottage, including private rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

Residents live as part of a small familial group facilitated by a trained household team.

Federal government figures estimate more than 419,000 Canadians aged 65 years and older have been diagnosed with dementia.

Two thirds of those diagnosed are women

On average, nine seniors are diagnosed with dementia every hour in Canada.

After the age of 65, the risk of being diagnosed with dementia doubles every five years.

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