AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Caregivers in Amarillo are helping raise awareness for people who suffer from dementia with a simulator that allows you to gain perspective on how a person lives day to day with cognitive issues.
Dementia Live simulates what it feels like to have dementia, recreating similar sensations experienced by those with cognitive impairments.
“The simulation is so that caregivers and loved ones can come and have an experience and better understand what their loved one is going through," says Home Care Assistance Owner Kim May.
The simulator takes five minutes to try and complete four tasks while having glasses on that block your peripheral, gloves that give you a sense that makes you not be able to feel and then they place headphones that are specially equipped to create confusion, similar to what a dementia patient feels.
“The experience itself, it enlightens you for one with giving you knowledge. Knowledge about what it feels like and that just creates more empathy and so if you do have a loved one or even in the future you come into contact with someone with dementia, you can be more empathetic,” explains Dementia Live simulator participant Landon Foster.
There a few things people with dementia can do to help with some of their symptoms.
“What an individual needs to do and what a families needs to do is to encourage them to get out and live as an active a lifestyle as they possibly can," explains May. “They need to exercise their brains and exercise their bodies. And that is the best way we can combat the condition they are experiencing.”
The Dementia live simulator also helps young people become more aware.
“By doing this experience, what are some things I can do right now that can implement, that will help me when I’m older. So, I can make sure to secure myself," says Foster. "Like keeping up with my health, keeping up with my exercise and going out in the community. All these things create awareness for others and also for yourself.”
If you would like to try the dementia simulator you can contact Home Care Assistance.