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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 and more plentiful care as well as continuing to research a cure. We want to do a little bit towards providing such care.

Our aim is to provide residential care for people with 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 we intend to provide this care in a village setting offering residents a semblance of real life, maximising their ability to function as normally 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 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. At the centre of each house is a communal kitchen, dining and living room with bedrooms around so that the carers can easily see, hear and reach all the rooms. Both privacy and company can therefore be facilitated.
  3. Staff wear their own clothes not uniforms. All staff and volunteers on the premises, not just carers, have some training with dementia patients.
  4. The outside space mirrors a village but has secure perimeters. There will be some covered areas outside for sitting, walking, exercising and watching entertainment. Features such as a red phone box and shop signage could add a familiar but inexpensive touch of nostalgia. The landscaping is important; pathways must be smooth, obstacle free with soft edging and planting which is nontoxic 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 Buddleia, Weigela, Lavender, Sweet William. Noise and pollution absorbing plants on the perimeter. Rosemary near the patios and sitting areas.
  5. Depending on finances 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. These can also be used by the local community.
  6. There has been considerable success in other care facilities in having a children’s nursery attached to a residential home and we hope to add this to the village as well.
  7. The people living with dementia within the next 20 years will be the people who were young in the 1950s and 1960s. For many of that generation music formed their identity and a juke box, record player, even singing and dancing could give great nostalgic comfort. As generations pass the format for their music will also change and the home must be flexible to alter with the changing generations.
  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, musical, textual or tactile. There is also an app specifically designed for older people and their carers. 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, recognisable way-markers, 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 developed on brown belt land of around 5 acres designed to enhance the physical and mental health of the residents and to aesthetically improve the local environment.
  2. Low carbon footprint with the use of: 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 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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