Village of Hope: Vision


Conventional approaches to supporting people living with dementia, and their families, have long emphasized the weakness, deficits, and decline that accompany cognitive loss. While these aspects are demonstrably important, there is much more to life than dementia. The Village of Hope is founded on a different set of assumptions. We know that people living with dementia, first and foremost are — people.

Our Vision:

To:  show the world that the segregation and confinement of people living with dementia is unhealthy, unjust, and financially unsustainable

 We will: create a new kind of community that improves well-being of people living with dementia, and their families, so that they can live happier, more fulfilling, more independent lives and and be of greater service to their communities.

The Village of Hope will be an inclusive community where older Pennsylvanians, particularly those with dementia and other cognitive impairments, can live independently and maintain their quality of life and age with dignity and joy. It is designed to serve the people (of all ages) who live there and function as a resource for the greater community. It works to connect, rather than isolate people and will include amenities such as a clinic, grocery store, café, theatre and art studio that are open to the community. The Village will bring together people of different abilities and different cognitive, physical, and creative abilities in the belief that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. It is MAGIC.

A Planning Committee of state and local representatives met with Dr. Thomas’ team  in August 2018 and establish the following guiding principles. The Village of Hope will:

  1. Embrace MAGIC principles of diversity and inclusion.

  2. Offer people the reality of being at home.

  3. Protect the dignity and extend the independence of all residents.

  4. Ensure the safety and security of residents living with dementia in the least obtrusive ways possible.

  5. Deliver a wide range of services and supports on-site.

  6. Extensively train all members of the community (including those working in the café, store, café, etc,) in how to relate to individuals with dementia.

  7. Apply world-class, state of the art design to all features, including those for accessibility.

  8. Seek to eliminate the need for and use of psychoactive medications.

This is an independent living community, not a licensed health care facility. Everyone living, working, and studying within the Village is taught methods for communicating with and collaborating with people living with dementia. Housing options will include single occupancy, double and a small percentage of single family homes. Although priority will be for eligible persons from Clearfield County, individuals from other counties will also be eligible.

The Village of Hope will be one community, among many, in Clearfield County, rather than a separate, walled off compound that is home only to people living with dementia.