A small-scale living project based on the principle of normalization for people suffering from dementia.

We start from the assumption that people with dementia have a rich and intense inner life.
What they experience contains a most individual inner truth and this inner truth unveils a most individual experience. Each personal story is unique and invites the Other to listen and to reflect on their own desires, fears and mortality.

The non-profit organisation 'Huis Perrekes' has been in existence since 1986 and it runs three autonomous houses, each one for 15 people suffering from dementia.
Provision and care is given in the context of a small-scale project, in which daily living is based on the principle of normalization – within a house which is as normal as possible, in an ordinary street in an ordinary village-.
We consciously use the word 'House' with the specific intention of stressing the influence of the surrounding material and immaterial environment which contains, holds, supports and lets go .
The 'house' protects and supports, it invites residents to experience their lives as meaningful and to carry out meaningful roles for as long as possible.
In 'Huis Perrekes' we look at the abilities which remain and not only at what is lost or damaged.
In this lived experience and care we try to connect with people's previous life styles. By involving their families in an explicit way we want to create a continuum which for the person with dementia means 'home' and 'dignity'.
As a relative said: ' Huis Perrekes seemed to have become an extension of our own home'.

We describe our attitude as 'being absent/being present'- creating space in order to let exist that which can still be and to be there when it no longer can exist.

© 2015 Thomas Vleeshouwers