Inside “Dementia Village” — Canada’s Approach to Hospice Care

Picture-perfect houses, manicured gardens, a local store, a farm that houses llamas and chickens, a hair salon, and a bistro with beer and margaritas on tap — these aren’t the typical elements of an assisted living facility, but Village Langley is looking to flip the concept of dementia care on its head. The “dementia village” opened in 2019 and is currently home to 75 residents who pay between $8,000 and $10,000 a month, depending on their individual care requirements. It also accommodates a brigade of staff who wear everyday clothing instead of scrubs. The village enables safe and enriched living for persons living with dementia, providing residents with a high quality of life, fulfillment, dignity and choice. Each house on the estate accommodates 12 people living with support staff. Instead of being confined to their living quarters, the residents are able to explore the grounds at their leisure, with 8-foot-high fences, cameras, and sensors ensuring their safety. Residents are referred to as “villagers” rather than patients in order to make them feel more at home. All of these things give those living with dementia a sense of freedom to direct their own day and helps them to maintain a slice of their independence.