Caregivers Learn Empathy Through Virtual Dementia Tour

Caregivers Learn Empathy Through Virtual Dementia Tour

When helping to care for a parent with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, the once clear cut parent-child dynamic can be completely reversed.

This can be a confusing and frustrating scenario for an adult son or daughter caring for a parent. Oftentimes, even extreme patience isn’t enough for a family caregiver to know how to manage this situation.

Instead, developing empathy towards an elderly loved one’s condition is important. Through empathy, family caregivers can begin to understand how dementia has altered their parent’s everyday life, where once easy tasks like setting the table have suddenly become extremely difficult.

One way to effectively learn empathy for dementia is take the patented Virtual Dementia Tour, created by geriatric specialist P.K. Bevillea. Through the tour–which uses goggles, gloves, headphones, and shoe inserts–you can feel what it’s like to live with dementia.

Here’s how it works, according to

  • Goggles make your surroundings appear in a yellow-orange haze, the same thing many experience as they age. The goggles also simulate macular degeneration, i.e., a decrease in depth perception and peripheral vision.
  • Shoe inserts simulate the “pins-and-needles” many dementia patients feel in their feet. This uncomfortable sensation affects a person’s gait.
  • Gloves inhibit sense of touch, especially the ability to feel through the fingers. Dementia impairs the part of the brain sending sensory signals to the hand, leaving a person to struggle with once-easy everyday tasks.
  • Headphones cover the wearer’s ears, making them feel like they’re in a bubble. A tape playing confusing noises–a mixture of voices, laughter, and background noise–adds confusion to the mix as well.

The Virtual Dementia Tour was developed using actual feedback from people suffering from dementia. You can order the Virtual Dementia Tour for individuals or groups. Prices start at $100.

Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Get your free Cost Comparison guide by clicking here. Or contact us for a free consultation or just to say hello!

Photo credit: Auntie P via photopin cc

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