One of the biggest challenges faced by dementia caregivers is a lack of understanding of what their loved one is going through. Reading the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia is one thing, but nothing can offer the same level of understanding as a firsthand experience. That’s exactly what Immersion Reality Education aims to offer caregivers in its unique Dementia Reality Tours, offered at Modesto assisted living facilities and in surrounding areas.
A Dementia Reality Tour was recently held at Quail Park Retirement Village in Visalia. The Visalia Times-Delta reports that caregivers were outfitted with glasses that obscured thier vision, gloves that made their hands feel heavy, inserts that made their feet uncomfortable and earphones that “blasted cacaphony,” all specially designed to mimic the sensory experience of a person with dementia. After they’re geared up, participants are asked to try to perform simple tasks, such as folding laundry.
Caregivers exhibit a range of emotions after the experience, from crying to enthusiastically wanting to share the experience with other family members. In any case, it’s an eye-opening experience that enables caregivers to better care for patients with dementia, after a new understanding of the difficulty patients face even trying to complete mundane everyday tasks.
Other types of training for dementia caregivers focus on identifying behavior triggers, such as certain words or phrases that often spur an argument from a dementia sufferer, and focusing more on the person. For example, an article on AikenStandard.com points out a useful dementia safety tip: If your loved one likes to rummage, set up a room specifically for that purpose. You’ll avoid the struggle of trying to stop the behavior, instead allowing the patient to do what they want to do, safely.
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