‘Virtual tour’ shows caregivers what it could be like to have Alzheimer’s or dementia

Published: January 25, 2019 8:24 PM EST
Updated: January 26, 2019 8:44 AM EST

One in 10 seniors over the age of 65 is living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

A new virtual dementia experience is opening caregivers’ eyes, to better help them care for patients and loved.

Clare Jordan, a nursing student at Ave Maria University says, she and her peers are getting the virtual dementia experience at Landmark Hospital in North Naples, “It’s definitely going to make me want to reach out to them more and be there for them.”

The “virtual tour” put on by Oasis Advisors, is opening her eyes to what her grandparents and future patients go through.

Jordan said, “Me, as a student nurse, that’s something I can use when I go out into the workforce.”

How does it work?

They have a lot of props that go into the simulation. They start with plastic gloves then cover them with cloth gloves. This limits your ability to use your hands.

MORE: Virtual Dementia Tour by Oasis Senior Advisors

They put on glasses which simulate vision obstructions. Then they put on headphones, which make it hard to hear.

Timothy Evankovich, CEO of Oasis says they’re trying to change the perception of aging in the United States.

He says this experience leads to a variety of reactions from people, “Everything from shock and awe to tears and everything in between.” And Evankovich says that develops a sense of empathy, “They have a better understanding of what their senior is going through.”

Which Jordan hopes will help her do the best she can in the years to come, “I wanted to care for people, and I think these are the people who need the care the most.”

The Alzheimer’s Association predicts the number of people living with disease in Florida will climb by more than 100,000 in the next six years.