Virtual Dementia Tour

September 10, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski

Coming out of this experience felt
pretty overwhelming. It made me have a lot of empathy for
dementia patients in a way that I didn’t really realize that I could articulate
before. The virtual dementia tour provides an opportunity for all
health care providers, but also for families. It is to get a better
understanding of a person with dementia and have more compassion and patience in their interactions with them. What happens is the students come here and
they’re given some things to put on, some things that alter the way they see, hear
and feel and then they get some basic instruction — that they’re going to be
going inside of a room and doing some tasks and then they go into a debrief
where they talk in a group. We impaired your senses. We made it difficult for you to accomplish tasks, which is exactly what they experience. Even though it’s for our students, our faculty, including
myself, have just felt that’s really transformed the way that we care for
people with sensory impairment. We were so overwhelmed by the response of the
students that we went to Dr. Forman, our Dean, and asked him if we could provide
some training to our staff and faculty so that we could run our own VDTs
whenever we needed to. I do feel like this will change the way that
I care for people with sensory issues, dementia or Alzheimer’s, in that now I
have a pretty direct understanding of what it would be like to have those
issues… to not be able to see, to not be able to hear directions when someone
says it very quickly and then leaves. You hear about all the things that dementia
patients have but truly don’t understand. So being able to go in there and see
what they’re feeling definitely makes you understand how confused they are. Going into an encounter with a patient with dementia, there has to be a
lot of patience involved in even doing very mundane tasks and so I think making
sure that they are safely able to do what they need to
but also giving them the time to accomplish it themselves would be really
important. It was just a great experience to help educate us to know what it’s like to be more understanding to give better patient care.