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Dementia program takes people back in time to Yesteryear Village

June 18, 2024

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – June is Alzheimer’s and Brain awareness months. In Brown County alone, more than 5,000 people age 65 and older are living with memory loss.

Curative Connections is an organization that works with people with disabilities. It recently reopened a building on Western Ave. as Yesteryear Village — a concept to help those living with some form of memory loss.

Take a step inside and you’ll see the unique design taking you back to the 60s and 70s decorated like a diner, an auto shop and other spaces.

It’s the only program like this in the state and one of only a few in the country.

”You can see them smiling. That’s the best gift of all, that they’re happy and having a good time, even talking with each other because they come here to socialize most of them and make new friends, and they truly do,” Yesteryear Village coordinator Sara Kaufert said.

For people with dementia, short-term memory is usually what they lose first, so the goal is to bring back memories from the ages of 18 to 30 which are the strongest as a source of comfort.

“We are hoping people are able to have a better day each day that they’re here because they’re able to spend time in space that is familiar to them and they’re able to be in a place in their mind where they’re just drawing on memory and it’s putting their mind at ease. Spending the day walking in memories is much better than being agitated and living in confusion and whatever the current oftentimes brings about in people,” Denise Misovec, vice president of programs for Curative Connections, said.

It’s addressing a critical need as the number of people living with dementia in Brown County is expected to more than double by 2040.

“The intention around offering the service is to extend that time period that someone can continue to live at home in the support of their family before a decision needs to be made about moving to a residential facility,” Misovec explained.

If you’re interested in visiting Yesterday Village for a loved one, learn more on the Curative Connections website.