ABC did a segment about a program called the Virtual Dementia Tour. Of course, we can never truly understand what each individual with Alzheimer’s experiences, but the simulation attempts to address some of the visual and auditory issues commonly experienced by Alzheimer’s patients. Subjects are fitted with goggles that impair their vision and headphones that play sounds often described by Alzheimer’s sufferers.
During the segment, the reporter and a man whose mother has Alzheimer’s undergo the experiment. Both struggle mightily with trying to complete the simplest of tasks. The eerie part was how much the man resembled his own mother in the confusion and disorientation he was exhibiting.
The unique experience is supposed to give the participant a better understanding and more empathy when they interact with people with Alzheimer’s. I think it is a valuable tool and is valuable to all dementia caregivers, whether they are professional or family caregivers.
Unfortunately, for our loved ones with dementia, they are trapped in this distorted world all of the time.