Hogeweyk  - Weesp, Holland


De Hogeweyk, operated by nursing home group Vivium, is a gated dementia village in Weesp, The Netherlands.


It has been designed specifically as a pioneering care facility for elderly people living with dementia

At its core it uses all-day reminiscence therapy to allow the residents a more active and engaged life. The setting has been compared to a more benevolent version of the film The Truman Show.

Carers, doctors and nurses work around the clock to provide the 152 residents the necessary 24-hour care.


The first ideas for the village came about in 1992, when the management team Yvonne van Amerongen and Jannette Spiering, who were running Hogeweyk, as a traditional nursing home began a conversation about how their parents became affected by Alzheimers and how, in the future, they would not want them to endure a hospital or institution like  care home.  After a series of research and brainstorming sessions in 1993, they decided to re-organise their home so that ‘normality would prevail’ in all kinds of practical ways. This vision was called "normalized small scale living for people with dementia". One of the aspects was that they decided that people generally prefer to surround and interact with other like-minded people of similar backgrounds and experiences. The arrangement at Hogeweyk provides this by ensuring that residents with similar backgrounds, norms and values continue to live closely together.


The village has a café/restaurant which is open to the public and a theatre which is hired by local businesses, both of which help with running costs but also help to break down the mystique and fear of dementia.


Yvonne van Amerongen and Jannette Spiering were also later joined by Eloy van Hal.


Yvonne van Amerongen


The Hogeweyk Model has been developed over a 20 year period in Weesp, Holland by the 3 directors of the village, Jannette Spiering, Yvonne  van Amerongen and Eloy van Hal. 

Hogeweyk is a village accommodating 152 residents with extreme dementia, living in small groups of 6 or 7 people in apartments within a self sufficient community. 

Each apartment is dedicated to a particular lifestyle, determined by a detailed analysis of data collected through questionnaires, and a study which has looked at values and how they affect the different stages of life.


Eloy van Hal


The central premise of Hogeweyk is the desire to allow all residents to live as normally as possible in a safe environment, where they are free to come and go within the confines of the development.


The residents are encouraged to engage in everyday tasks, to help with their own washing, to choose what they want to eat as a family group and go to the on-site shop and purchase the food as they would have done during their lifetimes.


They will be allowed the freedom to choose what they do and when they do it with help and guidance from staff


Jannette Spiering


Residents are able to leave their apartments whenever they wish, to safely wander the streets and squares of their village safe in the knowledge that all the staff are trained to respond in the appropriate manner to any issue that may arise.


Residents are encouraged to experience the changing seasons and to engage in clubs and activities, on a daily basis, that are run on site in rooms that are outside their apartments but within the village.


Staff will play 'roles' of friends and neighbours who come in to support the residents, guiding and helping them to live a normal a life as possible.


CARE have taken the essential principles of the Hogeweyk model and redefined them to suit the English way of life