About us

De Wingerd is a pioneer, in Belgium and in Flanders on the subject of small-scaled housing for people with dementia. An innovative concept, inspired by initiatives in Scandinavia, improved in collaboration with  LUCAS (Leuven University) and the Flemish Expertise Centers on Dementia and Network of small-scaled housing projects & normalized living for elderly.

Concept and architecture in De Wingerd are entirely based on and developed in perspective of our mission and  a unique vision about professional care and wellbeing for people with dementia; resulting in five core principles. We offer an alternative home to vulnerable yet valuable people, 8 residents per unit, thus creating a safe living environment with professional support: client-oriented and on demand, with respect for everyone’s personal needs, beliefs and identity.

Together with the resident, family and friends, we continue their life story, writing a new chapter each day!

Mission statement

A house on the outskirts of the city
where people with dementia are embraced
as they are on the road together
looking for quality of life in all its forms
each from their own experiences, with their own stories.

We do this by:

day by day
together and from your own space
keeping family relations
with and among people
who care for you and support you
with your past and your present

again and again
with an ear for each other
with an eye for the world
of neighbors and visitors
finding ways
for collaborators
to stay themselves afoot
while helping others
fully committing

to support each other
in carrying out what we profess
and professing what we carry out
always choosing for humans in all their vulnerability

Embodying the reality of warm care and solidarity.

Our History

  • 1982: one of the first nursinghomes in Belgium specialising in dementia
  • 1993: additional services, daycare centre and careflats for couples
  • 1999: start Centre of Expertise on Dementia
  • 2007: collaboration with other nursing homes in the region
  • 2009: new-built nursing home, designed to fit principles of small-scaled housing
  • 2016: additional units for young people with dementia


  • Integration & Participation
    every person remains a citizen, a valuable individual in our society
  • Controle your pace of life
    organisations adapt to the individuals, individuals don’t adapt to organisations
  • Quality of relations
    relatives as a proximate, as experts and as care recipients
  • Quality of life
    adding life to the days, not just days to your life…
  • Autonomy & Shelter
    incurability demands extra caressibility

Contact & Info:

Mr. Jan Vanwezer
director WZC De Wingerd

T: +32 16 28 47 90


October 19th 2018, Kim Jung-sook, “First Lady” of South Korea visits De Wingerd

Moon Jae-in, president of the Republic of Korea and Mrs. Kim Jung-sook, tour Europe as a part of a presidential visit. While her husband attends the ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) summit in Brussels to explain the bilateral peace talks between the two Koreas, Madam First Lady will visit the elderly care facility De Wingerd in Leuven.

Mrs. Kim Jung-sook, First Lady of the Republic of Korea, visits the small-scale homes where people with dementia are supported in their daily life. De Wingerd is a pioneer in Small-scale Normalized Living for people with dementia. Jan Vanwezer, director, explains the unique care vision and the operating principles of the person-oriented approach.

Woonzorgnet-Dijleland is particularly honoured with this visit and the international attention and we hope that madam First Lady can take home with her a lot of positive experiences and inspiration to South Korea!

Kim Jung-sook, First Lady of the Republic Korea
Kim Jung-sook, First Lady of the Republic Korea
Kim Jung-sook, First Lady of the Republic Korea