The Virtual Demential Tour® (VDT) is a scientifically proven method designed to build sensitivity and awareness in individuals caring for those with dementia. It is a dementia simulation tool created to assist anyone in understanding the condition.To help family caregivers understand the physical and mental challenges of those with dementia, the National Family Caregiver Support Program at the county Department of Aging and Disabilities has scheduled free Virtual Dementia Tours® this fall. On-line and telephone registration begins July 23 and space is limited.
There are approximately 35 million Americans age 65 and older, and more than 5.4 million suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia is the overriding diagnosis for cognitive impairments – the largest category under dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.
Comments from those who have taken the tour include the following:
• “No training is anything like it. It truly allowed us to walk in someone else’s shoes. I benefitted from the experience and know it will impact how I respond to those with dementia.”
• “Wow! What a great learning tool! If I had dementia, I would want to be around people who not only understand it, but who care enough to protect me from harm’s way.”
“Thank you for the opportunity to experience the obstacles confronting a person with dementia. (It was) so much different than reading about it or even observing it first hand.”
The tours will be given:
• Sept. 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Sunrise Senior Living, 43 W. McKinsey Road, Severna Park.
• Sept. 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Somerford Place, 2717 Riva Road, Annapolis. Free on-site care will be available.
• Sept. 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Fairfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 1454 Fairfield Loop, Crownsville.
• Sept. 26, 10 a.m.-noon and 6:30-8:30 p.m., Brightview South River, 8 Lee Airpark Drive, Edgewater.
• Oct. 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Morningside House of Friendship Assisted Living and Dementia Care, 7548 Old Telegraph Road, Hanover.
The VDT will be facilitated by Mary Chaput of the county Department of Aging and Disabilities, and Mary Fridley, registered nurse and founder of Gero-Resources, LLC. To register, call 410-222-4464, Ext. 3043 , or go online at www.aacounty.org/aging .