At least a thousand people from throughout the Lower Mainland were expected to visit The Village in Langley Saturday, as the first dementia facility of its kind in Canada gets ready to open.
The best review of the day came in when an eight-year-old approached founder Elroy Jespersen.
“He said ‘this doesn’t look like a senior place’. And I said ‘no, it’s supposed to look like a village’.”
As the man behind the concept, Jespersen gives much of the credit for the idea to what he’s seen in the U.S., the Netherlands, and during his 30 years working in the senior living business.
Several years ago, with the support of some key people, he started blending some of those ideas and “today we have it done and we’re inviting the world in to see it,” Jespersen said.
“I’m the person who is behind the project and thought this is something we should do, to create a better way to support people living with dementia,” he said.
An estimated 564,000 Canadians were living with dementia in 2016 – a number that the Alzheimer’s Society predicts will nearly double to 940,000 people by 2031.
The facility in Langley will be a memory care community 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 specially trained employees, The Village’s goal is to create a memory care community that will become the new standard for person-centred care.
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.
Residents are expected to start moving in Aug. 5.