The culture that is Swiss?

The newly approved €20m (£17m) housing project is to be built next to the Swiss village of Wiedlisbach near Bern and will provide sheltered accommodation and care for 150 elderly dementia patients in 23 purpose-built 1950s-style houses. The homes will be deliberately designed to recreate the atmosphere of times past.

The scheme’s promoters said there will be no closed doors and residents will be free to move about. To reinforce an atmosphere of normality, the carers will dress as gardeners, hairdressers and shop assistants. The only catch is that Wiedlisbach’s inhabitants will not be allowed to leave the village.

There is more here, and the pointer is from @laurenzcollins.

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I am not a number, I am a free man!

Excellent.

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That's the first thing I thought of as well. I wonder if they have a giant inflatable ball that herds people back to their houses?

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I was thinking "The Truman Show" might be a more apt metaphor. This is an eerily life imitates art story.

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Came here for _Prisoner_ jokes. Was not disappointed.

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...there will be no closed doors and residents will be free to move about. To reinforce an atmosphere of normality, the carers will dress as gardeners, hairdressers and shop assistants. The only catch is that Wiedlisbach’s inhabitants will not be allowed to leave the village.

I would suggest giving the uniforms a nautical theme, and numbering the residents.

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Quick.
Check.
Are you sure that not living there already.

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@Sonic Charmer: Great minds.

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Reminds me of the good German movie "Goodbye Lenin"....

Me too. Would not be at all surprised if that was the inspiration.

Although a recreation of 1950-Germany may not be a very pleasant place.

Well it's probably much better than a re-creation of 1940-Germany ;)

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They are recreating 1950-Switzerland, which is quite different.

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I think this is a very interesting idea. Between this and the Dutch project we might be able to see if this really can improve quality of life for those with dementia. While the cost of building such facilities may be fairly high, if it significantly reduces the stress they experience, it might even reduce the overall level of spending on the patients (or increase it if they live longer).

If the outcomes look good maybe a study with controls receiving high quality normal care?

(I admit the Prisoner reference occurred to me as well. I also recall some SF short stories about helping the patients, but the "workers" were either robots or the sufferers were placed in high quality VR environments).

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I have already suggested that a friend turn this into a story for Analog sf. The kind where you wonder if you're living in an illusion or not. And I also wonder if Twilight Zone hadn't already done this one?

I very much though of Twilight Zone. Maybe because I saw "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" recently.

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I wonder if there's an argument for creating something similar for those with political aspirations?

I have often had an idea where the main legislative body is held in a bubble where all the news is 2 years behind. They do their legislating, and there is another smaller body in the "real time" that has only veto power. So with 2 years of hindsight any of the knee-jerk, feel-good legislation is laughed off and vetoed. "Hahah, could you imagine if we had done that!? Damn would we feel stupid now."

Ideally, the veto body is given news from two years AHEAD.

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Sounds like the TV show LOST.

Only if they're beating and killing each other for no good reason

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In terms of literary allusions, this was also (more or less) the plot of one of the chapters in "The Martian Chronicles" as well as that M Night Shamalan movie nobody went to.

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An imaginary world frozen in the 1950s?

American Republicans will be fighting tooth and nail for admission.

Nah -- that kind of nostalgia is for progressives now. That golden era of picket fences, strong unions and stay-at-home-moms supported by a husband with a good factory job:

http://motherjones.com/politics/2004/11/two-income-trap

Yep.

Nah, I'm thinking liquid lunches, banging the secretary and no uppity minorities to deal with. Don Draper style.

Or as today's Republican would call it: "a return to family values."

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+1

Forgot to place a context reference so ignore the above.

"Nah — that kind of nostalgia is for progressives now."

+1

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It's the Dems whose 1950's mentality says you ought to be able to finish high school, get a job at the local plant, and stay there until you retire, turning out the same product for decades.

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I saw this in a film by M. Night Shyamalan.

"The Village"?

No, Avatar The Last Airbender.

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Spoiler alert?

Hard to spoil a movie that got one star from Roger Ebert and a "rotten" from Rotten Tomatoes.

The big problem is that the audience knew it was a movie by M. Night Shyamalan. The big reveal at the end isn't a big surprise if you know something like that is inevitable.

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On the other hand, it's not really all that Swiss to construct something with a shelf life of just a decade. What happens when people start pining for the 70s? Or has anyone ever pined for the 70s?

I think that's solved by applying shag carpeting and ugly wall paper to the 1950's houses. Ideally in Avocado Green, Harvest Gold, or Coppertone. Bonus points for covering over hardwood floors with cheap linoleum.

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Right before they start pining for the fiords.

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We were fortunate to achieve something like this--without so much play-acting--when we placed my mother in assisted living in Washington DC for the last years of her life about 10 years ago. The facility was in a converted pre-World War II apartment house, similar to ones my mother had lived in until my family moved to the suburbs in the mid-1950s. Even better, it was located a block from a walkable neighborhood shopping strip that my mother had frequented most of her adult life, with a streetscape that changed only moderately from 1940 or so through the present. The facility was good about letting not-too-demented residents go out on their own; and the local Starbucks and at least some merchants were willing to have the facility residents do a little shopping and a lot of hanging out.

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It's not so much Swiss as it is a large-scale take on already tested ways to improve the quality of life (and ease of care) of the demented elderly.

It's actually just a prototype for what all of Europe is going to be like in 30 years. All those demented oldies who refuse to listen to anything more modern than Kylie Minogue or MC Hammer. "Ah, that's REAL music right there..."

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Why have you got to be demented to be an inmate. It sounds rather comfy. No children or youf - willing servants - what more could you want.

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Dammit, is this why my gardener keeps dragging me back home? I wondered what the hell was going on.

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I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed ... uh, you look like a nice young man. Fetch me a pop.

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