Kevin Herman, owner of the recently opened Town Square — a 50’s themed innovative adult day enrichment center in Brick — announced the opening of a second Town Square at the Princeton Health Campus.
Senior citizens can take a unique nostalgia trip at Town Square, an inclusive, groundbreaking, 1950s themed concept center that aims to enhance and improve the lives of older adults, including those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Town Square, which provides a safe, comfortable, and engaging environment, is scheduled to open in March.
The 13,000 square-foot, innovative, interactive midcentury “town” features distinctive storefronts and experiences to encourage socialization, gathering, and recalling exciting memories among seniors, old friends and new. Town Square includes a 1950s-era diner, golden age movies at the Starlite Theater, a library, an art studio, recreation room, garage with a beautiful vintage car, newsstand, music room all arranged around Glenner Park, the heart of Town Square. The concept uses the 1950s timeframe as research has shown that this is the period when seniors’ most significant life events occur, including graduations and weddings. Seniors in their 80s today would have been in their late teens and early twenties in the 1950s.
The Town Square concept encourages and invites members to purposefully participate. This meaningful engagement includes actively contributing ideas, skills, and experiences, recognizing that individual participation will vary depending on abilities. For instance, members are invited to share experiences about their careers, military service, and family life. During craft, cooking, learning, or music activities, reminiscing prompts spark discussion about favorite memories.
Throughout the day, members take part in a wide range of stimulating activities with a focus on enjoying favorite pastimes, harkening back to the good old days with friends, and connecting through stories and activities. This can include shooting pool with friends in the Game Room, arranging flowers, painting, clay crafts, gathering for book club in the library, or playing lawn games in Glenner Park, the centerpiece of Town Square.
These thoughtfully planned activities evoke a time when members were young adults and are designed to appeal to all seniors. For those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it can be particularly beneficial. The behavioral approach, known as reminiscence therapy, uses prompts such as movies, music, photographs, games, and other activities to stimulate long-term memories. Reminisce therapy has been shown to reduce anxiety and lessen symptoms and side-effects of the disease by helping seniors recall older memories while feeling valued, content and at peace.
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