Family photos on a shelf

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Surprisingly, sleek minimalist interiors may not feed the brain as much as a home or apartment that's a little cluttered, says John Zeisel, PhD, who serves on ANFA's board of directors and designs therapeutic environments for dementia sufferers through his company, Hearthstone Alzheimer Care, in Woburn, Massachusetts. "Alzheimer's patients wander. However, if you provide good visual cues—pictures and objects they're familiar with, destinations at the ends of hallways, such as kitchens, activity spaces, and doors that lead out into safe and inviting healing gardens—they stop wandering and begin to walk with purpose." Similarly, when you look around your own place and see the evidence of who you are (the books you've read, the projects you're working on), you feel grounded.