Recreating the past for people with dementia has been a powerful tool used for many years. Imagine a place that could take those with dementia back to the happier times in their lives. It could it be therapeutic for both the dementia patient and their loved ones. This is exactly the vision Scott Tarde and Lisa Tyburski are working to make a reality.
Reminiscence Therapy (RT) is used to provide comfort to those dealing with dementia. This therapy helps trigger positive memories from the past. RT has been proven to calm anxiety and soothe the agitation that often accompanies dementia. This article at Next Avenue explains how people are working to take RT to the next level.
Glenner Town Square is going to be a dementia-style village located in San Diego, California. It will be a day program that is recreating the world that many dementia patients know from fifty years ago. By including a diner, movie theater, pet store, and barbershop, dementia sufferers will have a place they can feel safe in. Combining RT with a physical environment will also help families of dementia patients to reconnect with their loved ones.
Tom Christian, whose wife Grace was diagnosed with dementia in 2012, loves this idea. His wife tends to wander and pace since her disease has progressed. Christian thinks Glenner Town Square will provide Grace with the activities and stimulation she needs.
Often times, families of those with dementia long for a way to reconnect to their loved one in ways they once could. As Christian says,
“The idea that we can stroll through a city street together and maybe go to a 1950’s movie together for awhile creates a positive for me out of a not-so-positive situation.”
This will be a place without the stigma surrounding the diagnosis and one where all parties can feel a sense of comfort and joy. We hope this will help even some of the millions of families dealing with the struggles of dementia.