Creating Familiar Spaces for Memory Support

At Sunrise, we know that Alzheimer's and other forms of memory loss affect every one of our residents differently. Our team values each senior's individual needs. We believe the home environment can also be a therapeutic tool to create security, promote self-esteem and engage the senses.

Sunrise offers Reminiscence Neighborhoods for our residents with memory loss. These secure areas incorporate many of the sensory elements mentioned here. Reminiscence Neighborhoods are also designed so that resident suites are located next to living and dining areas, promoting easy navigation and social interaction.


  • Familiar photos and meaningful décor can spark memories and conversation.
  • Busy patterns can create frustration and confusion; avoid designs with dark spots that may be misinterpreted as dirt or holes.


  • Textures stimulate memory; items upholstered with touches of lace, fur and even denim can evoke particular life events.
  • Tactile wall art encourages touch and sparks conversation.


  • Primary colors enhance appetite. Solid yellow bowls and dishes contrast best with food.
  • Cups and bowls with two handles improve ease of use.
  • Don’t fake it—plastic fruits, vegetables, or even berries on silk plants can be confused with real food.


  • Familiar, pleasant scents like coffee or popcorn can serve as calming aromatherapy.
  • While flame candles present a fire hazard, scented electric candles mimic the flicker of a real flame and release a pleasant aroma.

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