Disneyland for Dementia Suffers
Inspiration can come in many forms. For Scott Tarde, CEO of George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers, it was his daughter’s field trip to “Biztown.” The trip had students run their own town, where they were bankers, restaurant owners, and more. Tarde’s family centers have operated dementia daycare facilities in California’s San Diego County for 35 years. Tarde decided he wanted to create Disneyland for dementia suffers. Ironic, since he wasn’t far away from where Walt Disney created his utopia world.
Creating a Disneyland for Dementia Suffers
People with dementia may not remember recent memories, but the past is imprinted in their brains. Glenner Town Square, the town that Tarde is creating, will have the look of the past. The goal is to create a Main Street from the 50s and 60s. Residents will be able to wander and safely interact with one another.
They are using what is called reminiscence therapy, initially presented by renowned geriatrician Robert Butler and noted psychologist Erik Erikson. This type of therapy can help dementia patients with anxiety, soothe aggressive behavior, prevent wandering and improve quality of life. So by creating a time capsule, Tarde is allowing residents to have a good time while being safe.
The First Dementia Town in America
While Europe already has many of these villages, Glenner will be the first in the USA. The town includes a diner, Post Office, barbershop, pet store, library, museum, and even a movie theater. Hopefully, this will bring as much joy as Disneyland does.
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*This article was published in 2017 and was brought over from the old site.