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Life Lessons: Memory Lane

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 22 2013 04:00:00 AM CDT

A personal care home in Easton is trying to find a way to connect with our seniors before it's too late.

EASTON, Pa. -

According to the latest numbers from the Alzheimer's Association, one in three seniors will die from Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia.

For families, the slow loss of their loved ones can be extremely difficult.

Now a personal care home in Easton is trying to find a way to connect with our seniors before it's too late.

It's called the Memory Lane project and it gives back something very special that Alzheimer's or dementia has taken away: a way for family members to connect with their loved ones. 

From the music to the memorabilia, the past is never far away.

When Cindy Friend visits her mom, Irene, at the Easton Home , they talk about what Irene remembers instead of what she doesn't.

Cindy says," She lives in the present not a half hour ago and the past . She remembers high school, things like that."

So the past comes to life for Irene and others with the Memory Lane Project, dreamed up by Paul Cercone, campus administrator at the Easton Home.

" I think it gives them peace of mind. It gives them items that are familiar to them. It gives them comfort," says Paul.

He wanted to do something different, something less institutional, something that would take residents back to happier times and give them an opportunity to share those memories with family.

" I think everywhere you turn there's something that you can talk about -- something that can stir a memory," says Paul.

There's a bakery, a general store, a sitting room and themed areas in the hallways focusing on things like weddings, cars and children.

There's even a replica of a kitchen from the 1950's where residents can remember family meals.

Kathy Kunsman's mother-in-law has lived in the Easton Home for eight years. Kathy says because of the Memory Lane project, " It's not hard to get her talking about the good old days."

The Memory Lane project was made possible because of donations from residents, families, and the community.