Imagine a town square that’s straight out of the 1950s or 1960s, complete with a diner (playing the oldies), a beauty shop, a department store, an old-fashioned movie theater, and a pub with a pool table and 1950s memorabilia.
For someone living with Alzheimer’s disease, memory is a constant struggle. However, the use of “immersive reminiscence therapy”—or the use of reminders from the past—can be soothing for those with Alzheimer’s. It can help them remember a happier time.
This Town Square adult daycare concept originated at an adult daycare in Chula Vista, California, followed by two locations in Baltimore. Now, Town Square Palmer Ranch will be coming to Oaks Plaza Shopping Center in Sarasota and is slated to open this summer. Other Town Squares are planned for Florida as well as several other states.
The storefronts in Town Square often serve a dual purpose. While those with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers might enjoy the nostalgic décor and music, the spaces also double for activities like occupational or physical therapy or art projects. Town Squares also typically hold lots of events, ranging from Visual Poetry to an aquarium trip at the Town Square Saucy’s Pet Shop. Participants rotate in 45- to 50-minute time blocks to various set-ups within the Town Square throughout the day. Or, they can choose to stay in a part that they enjoy the most.
Those working in Town Square emphasize memories from the past, sharing their own memorable life experiences and asking those attending the adult day center to share their own memories.
Reminiscence therapy may be able to improve mood and self-confidence and lower depression, according to health experts.
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