‘Dementia is more than forgetting’
The number of Alzheimer homes is likely to multiply over the next decade, given the massive increase in patients being predicted. Local residents generally know little about memory loss and dementia and do not know how to deal with this disability. The Odensehuis in Amsterdam south, a meeting place for people with dementia (participants) and their families, are working since 2009 with surrounding residents and participants to improve mutual understanding. The Odense house is a house of, and by the participants. There are daily activities that everyone can participate. There is also a support group for caregivers. The basic idea is to work with what they still can do, to stimulate their own management and support. The Odensehuis and the department of Inter-Architecture of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie are organizing together a ‘De-Mens-Zie’ friendly festival for the neighborhood. We want people living in the neighborhood to show what happens when someone is facing dementia.
On this day there will be live music, there are dance and movement workshops for young and old. There is a special film shown on dementia. A special newspaper will be published for that day and special Odensehuis wine will be sold. The participants of the Odensehuis will be involved in the implementation of the activities of the festival. Students of the department of Inter-Architecture will present their project during the festival. Each student puts in a quirky way, a relationship between dementia and way-finding, thus providing a possible solution to the problems that may occur.
The festival is scheduled for Saturday, April 12 from 13:00 to 17:00.
Thijs Verster, student Inter-Architecture, Gerrit Rietveld Academie
Henri Snel, architect, researcher on Alzheimer and Architecture and heads of Inter-Architecture, Gerrit Rietveld Academie
Jeroen Wilhelmus, publicity consultant, Odensehuis