SYNERGY HomeCare of West Denver has been recognized as leaders in Dementia Care by the Alzheimer's Association of Colorado. The Alzheimer's Association has put together the Virtual Dementia Tour in hopes of helping families better understand what the person with Alzheimer's/Dementia might be experiencing as they try to perform the tasks of daily living. I have included a link from ABC news showing their anchor Cynthia McFadden taking the tour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL_Gq7Shc-Y
SYNERGY HomeCare of West Denver presents this VDT free of charge to the staff of doctor's offices, memory care facilities, health care professionals as a way to educate them to the difficulties people with Alzheimer's face while trying to go about their daily living activities. We recently presented the Virtual Dementia Tour to the staff of IORA Primary Care in Lakewood, CO on April 7, 2016. The Virtual Dementia Tour consists of performing at least 5 tasks of daily living while having "garb" on that minicks the affects of Alzheimer's/Dementia. "Garb" as it is known is a set of devices along with assigned tasks that helps to simulate what it might be like to suffer from Alzheimer's/Dementia. The headset we put on your ears runs noises similar to a radio station that is off its channel - this induces confusion, distraction and the inability to understand directions well. We also put a pair of goggles on your eyes that minicks the affects of macular degeneration and glaucoma. We also put inserts in your shoes that feels like neuropathy (pins and needles sensation in the feet) and gloves on your hands to diminish the sense of touch. After you have your "garb" on you are given 5 tasks that you are to perform and you are taken into a darkened room. The tasks stations are set up in advance and you are asked to perform certain tasks like: finding the white sweater and unbottoning the buttons, find the pair of pants and put the belt through the belt loops, fold the towels, write a letter to your family, set the dining room table, pour water from a pitcher into the glasses but only half full, match and fold the 6 pair of socks. Although these tasks might seem simple to perform, when you have the garb on and given the instructions all at once it makes for some very interesting outcomes. Below are some of the comments made by the staff concerning their Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT) experience.
The simulation was a useful illustration of the extremes of life with dementia and underscored that patients with dementia have cognitive deficits in issolation.
~ Dr. Rick, MD
Incredible awareness of why patient's with Alzheimer's react and act as they might. Frustrating, embarrassing and scary situations to someone who is having navigating tasks with impaired visual and physical pain.
~ Laura, RN
It was helpful to see how simple daily tasks can be so frustrating and disturbing. I will definitely have more patience and empathy going forward.
Very helpful and eye opening. An experience I will remember for a long time.
Thank you. This helped me understand the challenges that patients and famillies with dementia face.
~ Tyler, Health Coach