Familiar surroundings help Alzheimer's patients
(CNN) -- While researchers work to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease and dementia, therapists and caregivers are looking for ways to improve the quality of life for patients with these debilitating memory disorders.
One of the most promising treatments is "environmental therapy." The idea is to put patients in a familiar setting that will orient and engage them, and perhaps evoke long-term memories.
"Alzheimer's disease causes people to lose recent memory, yet they retain distant memory," says Jeremy Vickers, executive director of The Village-Waveny Care Center, an environmental therapy assisted living facility in New Canaan, Connecticut.
The main living areas of The Village are designed to look like a small-town Main Street in the 1950s -- a time when most of the patients were in the prime of life. Dying memories may be sparked by the site of a general store, or a striped barber pole.
CNN's Beth Nissen tours the facility.
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National Institute on Aging - NIA
MEDLINEplus: Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR Center)
Waveny Care Center
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