Alzheimer's Town Square is a special place for patients - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Alzheimer's Town Square is a special place for patients

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CHULA VISTA (NEWS 8) - A one of its kind daycare center for people with Alzheimer's disease, as well as other types of dementia, will soon be open to the public. 

George G. Glenner Alzheimer's Family Centers teamed up with the San Diego Opera to build a town modeled after the 1950's. 

The Town Square is located inside a Chula Vista warehouse that does not look like much from the outside.

Behind its doors is a place with so much detail because the hope is that dementia patients will be transported into a world they once knew.

The 5,000-square-foot space was designed to look like the 1950’s with 14 sections that include: a 1959 Thunderbird, a decked out diner and a museum displaying authentic uniforms and models.

Lisa Tyburski is the director of business development at George G. Glenner Alzheimer Family Centers.

She helped oversee construction of the Town Square when it began in 2016.

Two years later, the final product is ready to be unveiled to the public.

“This has been truly a labor of love,” she said.

The Town Square is the first of its kind center for dementia patients in the United States – replacing the monotony of regular daycare by igniting patient brains with memories of their past.

It’s a type of therapy known as reminiscence therapy – a method proven to improve mood and reduce agitation.

“We are not here to trick anybody. We are not here to convince anybody that it’s the fifties. What we are trying to do is just bring back memories that are the strongest,” said Tyburski. 

Participants will spend between 45 minutes and an hour in each section with professionals guiding them along the way.

For example, in the story, participants will be able to try on clothes.

In the theater, they will be able to watch clips of old movies and talk about pictures on the wall.

At the library, the will be able to sit and read books from the 1950’s.

Work is already underway to open up Town Square franchises nationwide.

Family members can sign up their loved ones for a visit online.

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