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Our Mission

In the time it takes you to look through this website someone else in the UK will have developed dementia. It is imperative to prioritise improved care and accommodation as well as continuing to research a cure.

Our aim is to create a home for people with early onset dementia with an ethos that is kind to people and kind to the environment. In an ideal world every community would be dementia friendly so part of our mission is to take this message out and to bring the community in.

Kind to people

Inspired by the Dutch dementia village Hogewey the Josie Home will offer residents a semblance of real life, maximising their ability to function as normally and independently as possible in a comforting, safe and healthy environment. This type of care doesn’t suit everyone but in many cases being enabled to continue a “normal” life, doing the everyday things, can mean less medication and a calmer less anxious way of life.

Key features:

  1. The development for around 50 to 60 people will have a number of houses in a village setting as well as communal facilities. Each house will accommodate 5 or 6 people with 2 to 3 carers depending on need. The optimum is for each house to have in it people with similar backgrounds, outlooks, interests, occupations and philosophies. Food, entertainment, décor and carers chosen to suit.
  2. The separate households, which can function individually, mean that in the event of an epidemic any contagion can be easily limited.
  3. At the centre of each house is a communal kitchen, dining and living area with bedrooms around so that the carers can easily see, hear and reach all the rooms. Both privacy and company can therefore be facilitated. Each room also has private bathroom and kitchen facilities and partners can also live there.
  4. There is emphasis on holistic care – focusing on quality of life and emotional and social needs as well as imperative functional and medical requirements; the idea of the Josie Home is to put these considerations at the heart of the development and avoid the institutionalising effect of “going into a home”. Staff wear their own clothes not uniforms and all staff and volunteers on the premises, not just carers, have some training with dementia.
  5. The outside space mirrors a village but has secure perimeters. There will be some covered areas outside for sitting, walking, exercising and watching entertainment. The landscaping is important; pathways must be smooth, obstacle free with soft edging and planting which is non-toxic and not spiky or thorny. Harmonious design of the grounds can really contribute to a sense of well-being and calm, and different features can also provide interest and stimulation such as bird feeders to bring birds into the garden and plants that particularly attract bees and butterflies such as Buddleja, Weigela, Lavender, Sweet William. Noise and pollution absorbing plants on the perimeter. Rosemary near the patios and sitting areas.
  6. We would like to include a village shop, a café, a small theatre/practice room and a hairdresser to reinforce the sense of life outside an institution. Shopping can be overwhelming but using the village shop can provide the experience of “going out” but the staff are familiar and the surroundings safe. These can also be used by the local community.
  7. People with early onset dementia are more likely to be working, have dependents and financial commitments and still be active and aspirational and we will be flexible about maintaining each person’s network and opportunities.
  8. There will be an opportunity in the Josie Home for residents and their families to create and enjoy recorded stories of their lives in various forms – audio, photographic, digital, musical, textual or tactile. For people with dementia the earlier memories are the most vivid and being able to relive them is very comforting.
  9. Listening books, including childhood favourites, and capturing the smells of youth will also provide pleasure and comfort. We hope that volunteers will assist with providing some services to residents such as reading aloud, singing, playing music and animal therapy.
  10. Recommended building design features such as simple décor, see through doors on wardrobes and kitchen cupboards, clear sight paths from room to room and clarity about a room’s function, memory prompt clocks and calendars and no big mirrors or threshold strips.

Kind to the environment

The second strand of our mission is that this high standard of care is achieved in a way that doesn’t harm or exploit anyone or anything connected with it. We want to balance the emotional and practical needs of the residents, the employees and the volunteers and build a development that has a low impact on the environment and is a positive presence in the community.

Key features:

  1. A purpose built environment designed to enhance the physical and mental health of the residents and to aesthetically improve the local environment. We would like to link with other green spaces to develop a green corridor to encourage biodiversity – this could be as simple as planting wildflower seeds.
  2. Maximise resources and minimise waste: renewable energy sources according to location; highly efficient insulating building materials, triple glazed windows; recycling, composting and rainwater harvesting; maximising the natural light by orientation and location of windows, LED lighting and automated daylight control; air tightness; feed in tariffs.
  3. Covered clothes drying areas which maximise the prevailing wind and are south facing so avoiding the constant use of tumble dryers which will save electricity. Pulley racks over indoor heat sources for the same reason.
  4. Allotment and large greenhouse for production of fruit and vegetables together with a hen house and apiary.
  5. Electricity car charging points in the car park for the future increase in electric and hybrid cars, and covered bicycle parking.
  6. With a view to involving the local community and facilitating easy access for families and visitors there should be plentiful free parking and, ideally, proximity to arterial routes and easy access to local services and public transport.
  7. Participation by the local community in volunteering roles for adults and for local secondary school children doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award as well as churches and community service participants
  8. Opportunities for students from local universities and recent graduates to get involved in the design and management of the garden, grounds and food production areas.
  9. The Josie Home will encourage and facilitate dissemination of its model with a view to educating the local community and particularly young people. We aim to foster a sense of local pride and not operate as an oasis.

These lists are non-exhaustive and only a sample of ideas to be considered for their viability. We welcome your own ideas and suggestions.

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