"Do you know Steve Matthews?" she asks, multiple times over the course of an hour. Of course, no one does, but each time she seems surprised that we haven't met.
Steve may be a relic of Jo's past, a distant, foggy memory of a baseball player she says lived with her for a short time when she was younger. Or, he may be a figment of her imagination. Sadly, we'll never know.
Worldwide, 35.6 million people have dementia, according to the World Health Organization, with 7.7 million new cases being diagnosed every year. At that rate, the number of people with dementia is expected to double by 2030 and triple by 2050. This will be an additional burden for governments already struggling to contain the runaway costs of health care.
In Holland, everyone pays into the state health care system during their working years, with the money then disbursed to pay for later-in-life expenses - and that means living in Hogewey does not cost any more than a traditional nursing home.
Could this innovative model work in other countries? Health care industry leaders in Germany, England, Switzerland and Japan are all beginning to take notice. At Hogewey, says van Amerongen, "We have Dutch design, Dutch cultures, Dutch lifestyles, but the concept is to value the person, the individual... to support them to live their life as usual, and you can do that anywhere."
On a physical level, residents at Hogewey require fewer medications; they eat better, and yes, they live longer. On a mental level, they also seem to have more joy. It's a difficult thing to measure, but that is the most important thing here at Hogewey.
So could this work in other parts of the world? That's the next question.