california sunday magazine

This is Town Square, a daytime care facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia that attempts to engage participants with reminiscence therapy. The idea is to evoke an earlier era, which prompts participants to hark back to their most powerful memories, the ones indelibly etched between the ages of 10 and 30. Graduating high school.Falling in love for the first time. Getting married. Having kids.

It was unclear where participants thought they were. What was clear, however, was that they interacted with one another in ways not always available to those with dementia. Susie, who had been an accountant for several decades, was under the impression that she was employed at Town Square. She organized invoices and helped however she could, passing out lunch, tidying up after others. Jim, a former Navy SEAL, said he was happy to be here among what he sometimes thought was a group from his church.

Read more and view the photos on California Sunday.

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