Thursday, December 28, 2017
A German nursing home is turning back the hands of time in an effort to better treat residents with dementia. The Washington Post story, A German nursing home tries a novel form of dementia therapy: re-creating a vanished era for its patients, explains how rather than trying to help residents remember, the facility takes them back to a specific period of time when they were younger. For example one "nursing home ... is trying to trigger [resident] ... memories by re-creating settings from [a prior] era as a form of therapy. While other nursing homes are also trying to help their residents remember details of their lives, what is going on here could well be the only concerted effort to re-create for its residents an entire historical era." This includes providing residents with tools they used in their jobs-but this only works if they liked their jobs, according to the article. Items are placed in "a memory room" for residents to visit. The staff had to become knowledgeable about the time period in order to appear as an authentic residents of the era. So far the facility focuses on two decades with plans to expand to encompass a third decade.
Thanks to my colleague, Professor Mark Bauer, for alerting me to the article.