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Town Square is a 1950s-style town that offers an interactive experience for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The organizations behind the experience – George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers and Senior Helpers, an association of caregivers – announced this month that they would be opening a second location in Baltimore in 2019. The experience immerses visitors in reminiscence therapy, which transports patients to a time of their strongest memories (usually formed between ages 10-30). The Town Square is currently targeting patients in their 70s or 80s, which is why it replicates the period between 1953-1961. Each Town Square features 14 storefronts (including a pet store, a diner, and a movie theater), where caregivers guide visitors through specialized, therapeutic activities.

There’s so much we could say about this innovation, but here are three provocative thought-starters to take back to your team:

- The second Town Square will open in former Rite Aid store in a suburban shopping mall. Many markets are witnessing a retail apocalypse, but changing consumer tastes and lifestyles will create as many opportunities as they destroy. Could you create a future-proofed business model that leverages currently underutilized resources?

- The best trend-driven innovators think expansively about which trends can apply across demographics and industries. We’ve heard far too many times that it’s Insta-hungry millennials driving the Experience Economy. Well, now this trend is being applied to seniors, by the healthcare industry. And why not?! Your challenge: look broadly and take inspiration from everywhere!

- We know reminiscence therapy is an accepted psychological therapy. But the Town Square concept couldn’t help but remind us of the Black Mirror San Junipero episode! If you’re dealing with new problems, perhaps you could turn to science fiction–or other similarly unorthodox sources of inspiration–for creative new solutions?