Swiss building 1950s-style village for sufferers of Alzheimers

January 27th, 2012

I’m not sure what I think about this.

Its detractors may end up dubbing it “Dementiaville”, but Switzerland is brushing aside a debate raging among geriatric-care experts with plans to build a mock-1950s village catering exclusively for elderly sufferers of Alzheimer’s and other debilitating mental illnesses.

The newly approved €20m (£17m) housing project is to be built next to the Swiss village of Wiedlisbach near Bern and will provide sheltered accommodation and care for 150 elderly dementia patients in 23 purpose-built 1950s-style houses. The homes will be deliberately designed to recreate the atmosphere of times past.

The scheme’s promoters said there will be no closed doors and residents will be free to move about. To reinforce an atmosphere of normality, the carers will dress as gardeners, hairdressers and shop assistants. The only catch is that Wiedlisbach’s inhabitants will not be allowed to leave the village…

Would this amount to false imprisonment, both in the physical and metaphorical sense? Keeping people who cannot make decisions for themselves in a village, but also keeping them in a world of fiction.

Kinda reminds me of The Truman Show.