Rainbow Hospice Care is collaborating with Seniors in the Park to bring a unique learning opportunity to all area residents interested in learning more about living with dementia. The Virtual Dementia Tour® is a special community education program that addresses matters relating not only to end-of-life care but also to caregiving. Created by Second Wind Dreams, the Virtual Dementia Tour is a scientifically proven, interactive simulation program designed to build sensitivity and awareness about dementia. The program is for anyone seeking to understand the physical and mental challenges of dementia—professional and non-professional caregivers, families, business leaders, and first responders are especially encouraged to participate. Deb Weberpal from Seniors in the Park feels “It is important that family and friends of those with dementia have an understanding of what their loved one or friend is going through. I believe the tour will create compassion and more understanding of what a person with dementia experiences and struggles with.”
Those experiencing the Virtual Dementia Tour can expect to spend 45 minutes to an hour involved in a three-step process, which begins with a short “pre-test” to determine their knowledge and perceptions regarding dementia. Next, they will be fitted with physical and sensory-altering devices (e.g. goggles, gloves, earphones) and instructed to complete a series of simple tasks, which mimic the physical and mental restraints of Alzheimer’s disease. Then is the “tour” experience—a 12-minute period where participants attempt to complete five simple common activities of daily living. Observers record their behavior for a follow-up interpretation and consultation. After the simulation, there is a post-test to see if their perception of this debilitating disease changed after having completed the activity. “It is part of our [Seniors in the Park] efforts to educate the community and businesses about dementia. A community that supports and is inclusive of those with dementia helps to combat the stigma of dementia and lessens the potential for isolation of the person with dementia and their care partner” says Deb Weberpal from Seniors in the Park.
There is no cost to attend; however, those interested need to schedule a specific time, in advance, between 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to take the tour.
To register, please call Deb or Patrea at (262) 473-0535. More information about the Virtual Dementia Tour can be found at http://www.secondwind.org/virtual-dementia-tour/. Additionally, NHPCO’s Caring Connections offers information and resources for professionals and consumers at www.caringinfo.org.
The event is at Starin Park Community Center 504 W. Starin Rd, Whitewater WI, 53190.