The Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities lead three of Anne Arundel County’s top police officers through a Virtual Dementia Tour recently, at the Heritage Complex on Riva Road, Annapolis. Chief Timothy Altomare, and recently appointed Deputy Chief Jerard Flemings and Deputy Chief William Krampf were given rare insight into the lives of someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
The Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT) is a scientifically proven method of building a greater understanding of dementia through the use of patented sensory tools and instruction. This is an up-close, hands-on experience that provides critical insight to those caring for dementia. This tour is an eye-opening experience that proves how difficult the disease can be for the patients and caregivers alike.
When asked what he learned from the VDT experience, Chief Altomare said, “This training illustrates the stark reality that more citizens in Anne Arundel County have some sort of this disease than we may realize. I have learned just how frustrated and disconnected these members of our community feel when facing daily activities most of us take for granted.”
Deputy Chief Krampf stated, “The sensitivity to situations in the homes of older adults with dementia will be more prominent after taking this tour. We’ve always been on the lookout as police officers, but now we know what signs to look for.”
In addition to collaborating on dementia, the Anne Arundel County Police Department and the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities also work with the Commission on Disability Issues. Police cadets go through disability awareness training through interactive role playing to enhance the safety for individuals with disabilities.
For information call the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities at 410-222-4464 or go online to http://www.aacounty.org/aging. TTY users, please call via Maryland Relay 7-1-1. All materials are available in an alternative format upon request.