CORPUS CHRISTI – An assisted living facility partnered with a local Girl Scout troop to provide hands-on sensitivity training to those with loved ones living with dementia.
Confusion, lack of communication and discomfort are all symptoms experienced by those living with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Caregivers and family members were given an inside look at the day-to-day struggle through a six-minute virtual reality tour.
"Just the five minutes that I had it on, I couldn’t imagine anybody dealing with this every day," Jazmyn Mallory said.
The demonstration alters the five senses, making it nearly impossible for participants to complete everyday tasks.
These modifications include shoe inserts to mimic calluses and arthritis, gloves to resemble symptoms of neuropathy.
The sense of sight is also altered through distorted goggle lenses and flashing lights to represent cataracts glaucoma, macular degeneration, and tunnel vision.
Participants are also required to wear headphones to alter perception, with noises like static, sirens and muffled voices.
Donna Howland, Executive Director at Villa of Corpus Christi South, said she hopes this will teach patience when caring for those with ailing minds.
"It’s really important to me that my staff go through that. We do it at least once a year, sometimes twice a year, so that they will have empathy and understanding," Howland said.
This nationwide program aims to teach perspective and sensitivity, so while memories may fade, the quality of care does not.