An American medical centre that treats Alzheimer patients has finally created the ultimate time machine. A town from the 50s has been recreated in order to stimulate patients' memories by immersing them in a familiar environment.
On August 13th, the G. Glenner Alzheimer's Family Care Centers, a medical centre based in California, inaugurated a reconstructed 1950s American city called Town Square. The goal of this 800m2 community is to help those who have the condition recover some of their memories.
The observation that launched the project was the fact that most of the medical center's octogenarian patients' recollections came from memories saved when they were between 10 and 30.
Getting the benefits without the drugs
In small supervised groups, the patients can wander around the cinema, the library, the diner and the 14 shop fronts, as well as other places that have been recreated in Town Square. Activities that encapsulate the 50s spirit will be organized with the hopes that they stimulate the patients' senses and trigger memories. Some of these activities will be listening to music from jukeboxes, looking through old photos or smelling perfumes that had an impact in their lives.
Contrary to other kinds of treatment, reminiscience therapy has already proven successful with those who suffer from behavioral disorders - and it does so without involving any medical drugs. It helps reduce stress and agitation and even improves their social interactions and sleep quality.
After the inauguration of Town Square in California, other towns are interested in launching a similar version in the United States. Another such town will open in Baltimore quite soon.