Tracy moved into her daughter’s Northbrook home, once her daughter noticed Tracy was showing signs of dementia. It is very frightening to see loved ones showing signs to dementia, because they start to forget how to do very simple tasks like getting dressed, feeding themselves, and bathing. Family members who witness these signs in their loved ones can become very irritated, because they have to repeat themselves multiple times causing them to yell out of frustration.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are very difficult diseases to understand. These diseases cause changes within a person, and it is hard for family members to accept that their loved one is a different person than they used to be.
In order to help families and healthcare professionals understand the disease and its causes, the Virtual Dementia Tour was created to help people learn how to interact with those who that have dementia. Having a better understanding of what loved ones are going though makes it easier for us to understand how to react when faced with the disease.
Walking a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes
A Geriatric Specialist created The Virtual Dementia Tour to help people better understand what it feels like to be living with dementia. During the tour, people put on gloves and are sent into the room specially set up for the tour. The room could be a single room, or one that resembles a house with several rooms. Right before the person enters the room, they are given instructions as to what they need to do once they are inside. The tour lasts about 10 minutes, and the participant meets with the facilitator afterward to discuss the experience.
The Dementia Virtual Tour is currently available in 9 different languages and operates in 18 countries. Police officers, fire fighters, caregivers, and other professionals that regularly interact with the elderly population are taking the virtual tour, so they have a better idea of how to react in a situation when dealing with a person that has dementia.
When family members take The Dementia Virtual Tour, they get an idea of what their loved one may be going though and are able to empathize with them better.
The Dementia Virtual Tour gives people a new perspective on what loved ones are experiencing. It is important we realize that our behavior needs to change, and not expect our loved one to change theirs because they are unable to do so. It is time we begin to alter the way in which we interact with those dealing with dementia.