An innovative approach to memory loss care
By Michael Callahan
GREEN BAY – Green Bay’s Curative Connections has something very innovative in progress.
They want to trigger memories of a simpler time for those living with dementia through a project called “Yesteryear Village.”
“Yesteryear Village will simulate an environment modeled after the targeted participants’ younger years (18-30 years old). The concept emphasizes safety and a sense of purpose through reminiscence and interactive experiences. In doing so, it offers a more engaging, relaxing, and familiar space to spend the day,” a capital campaign literature stated.
“Examples of the kinds of spaces participants will experience at Yesteryear Village include a café, and interactive auto garage, a train depot, a pub, downtown shoppes and much more.”
Curative Connections collaborated on this project with Performa Architects and Miron Construction to create a plan for the renovation of Curative’s 12,000-square-foot west-side location, the Cloud Family Care Center, which currently offers dementia-specific services.
The Yesteryear Village renovation required $3.5 million, and a capital campaign netted $4.9 million.
“The concept ended up resonating with a lot of people,” Jeanne Stangel, president/CEO stated.
Staff members say that international research and studies since 2015 have shown that social opportunities reduce things like anxiety, depression and self-isolation.
“This is eight years of research,” Denise Misovec, vice president of program services said.
“COVID magnified all of this.”
But staff is hoping that by using a new approach, memories can help those with dementia.
“It is reminiscent of the memories that are important to us, especially as key memories are made when we are 18 to 30 years old,” Stangel added.
They want their day services at 1538 Western Avenue to bring out the best of people and offer a fun, safe and supportive environment for everyone.
To take a tour of the project, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXxwF2lmBUU.