Familiar surroundings

Town Square is an adult day centre (and a kind of a time machine) designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia elicit memories from their youth in the 1950s and encourage conversation and engagement.

Town Square is a safe indoor setting that mimics the urban, American environment of the 1950s. It uses reminiscence therapy by surrounding participants (don’t call them patients) now in their 70s and 80s with tangible prompts from their past, such as vintage storefronts, retro signage, and interior designs typical in the mid-century.

Of course, reminiscence therapy does not reverse Alzheimer’s, but it can give seniors a better connection with their past, improve their mood and enhance communication.

Participants are guided by caregivers through 14 storefronts that evoke the time when the average participants were between ages 10 and 30 – the time of life during which many of people’s strongest memories are formed.

At Town Square, seniors could be served a lunch at a 1950s-era diner, watch a vintage black-and-white film in a movie theatre, enjoy hairstyling at the on-site salon, spend some time in a clothing store, library or a museum arranged around a central green, and even tinker with a restored 1959 black Ford Thunderbird.

Town Square is the result of a collaboration between George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers (a California-based nonprofit organisation) and Senior Helpers (a national in-home senior care provider). It is located in an industrial building in Chula Vista, California, just south of San Diego. The goal is to build 100 more Town Squares in the US by 2021.


Photography by TrendNomad.com.

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