Safe travels: care homes get virtual train carriages for dementia patients

Photo: NS
Photo: NS

National train operator NS is providing ‘virtual carriages’ for people with dementia in more than 20 nursing homes around the country.

Charity Alzheimer Nederland and NS will supply the care homes with seats, tables, luggage racks and video screens so they can build their own mock-up carriages. The equipment is taken from double-decker trains that are being removed from service.

The aim of the ‘Hoofdreiscoupé’ is to stimulate memories in patients with dementia by giving them a sense of travelling by train, with the screen showing images of a passing landscape.

NS said its staff sometimes encountered sufferers on trains who were trying to travel but were disoriented or unable to follow the check-in system.

‘Until we can cure dementia, we need to do everything we can to provide moments of light,’ NS president Marjan Rintel said. ‘With the Hoofdreiscoupé we are taking people with dementia and their loved ones on a journey with us without leaving their familiar surroundings.’

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