Millions of Americans live with some form of dementia, like Alzheimer’s.
Caring for those with dementia requires empathy and patience. Grace Hospice of Oklahoma has a program to help caregivers, called the Virtual Dementia Tour.
Grace Hospice has brought its Virtual Dementia Tour to the staff at Tulsa’s Leisure Village Health Care Community.
Henry Smith is one of the participants.
“I’m going to impair his ability to feel things and pick things up,” said Patti Zeimet-Jones from Grace Hospice. “I’m going to put a headset on him with random sounds, not music.”
Glasses are used that replicate macular degeneration and glaucoma – things that might be present in someone with a form of dementia.
Smith was then given five tasks to complete in eight minutes. The tasks are fairly simple – find a sweater, fold some towels, write a note, set the table, and pour a glass of water – but not so easy.
“That was frustrating, looking for something and not being able to find it,” said Smith.
That’s part of what the Virtual Dementia Tour is hoping to create.
“Compassion and empathy for the folks that they serve, and thereby provide better care,” said Mike Douthitt from Grace Hospice.
The Virtual Dementia Tour is designed for caregivers, family members, and first responders who deal with individuals with some form of dementia.
You can find more information at Grace Hospice's website or call them at 918-744-7223.