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On April 24th the Alpena Senior Citizens Center will be leading a Dementia tour that simulates the affects of Dementia on the body.

“The new program that we have coming on April, the 24th and we have to thank Compassus Hospice for that because they’re going to be the ones bringing that project in for us and if you never done it, you need to sign up for it” said Bj Sander, program director of Alpena Senior Citizens Center.

This is a one day project that you must register for in advance to participate.

“So what it is, is a Dementia tour and what they do is they simulate for you what it’s like to have Dementia and go along that journey so there will be several different areas you’ll be there will be two people garbing up and when I say garbing up, I mean putting on gloves that simulate what it’s going to be like as our fingers get affected from Dementia. They may put something in your shoes to understand how that’s going to feel if you ever get Dementia and glasses because of course we all know that Dementia affects our vision” said Sander.

The senior center is able to fund this tour with the grant they’ve received from the Michigan health endowment fund.

“Sometimes they will also do like something in your ear to affect the hearing. So just with Dementia, I mean your brain is changing so, so many things are changing and I think as caregivers or professionals or people in general, we don’t understand the level of those changes. So with this Dementia tour, it really gives you that reality of what somebody living with Dementia is living, how they’re living and how we could better help them to make you know, a better lifestyle or live that journey healthy and safe” said Annie Hepburn, director of the Alpena Senior Citizens Center.

This Dementia tour is guided to help people become a better support system to those close to them experiencing Dementia.

“Right because the person that has Dementia is the expert, they’re the expert. They know what they’re going through, we don’t know so this would be a good opportunity for you if you have a loved one that you’re caring for, if you have a close friend that you are connected with in some way or another or if you’re just interested in learning what that process is all about” said Sander.

The senior center wants to ensure that no one has to go through the Dementia journey alone and offers their support through this training.

“We have limited spots and that’s April 24th from 1 to 4, it takes about 20 to 25 minutes to go through the whole process. We’ve recently gotten a grant that’s really expanding our services that we offer here at the senior center. We’ll be seeing a lot of that going on in our community” said Sander

The grant is named D.R.E.A.M standing for Dementia, resources, education, advocacy and mentorship.

“Again, if you have an interest, miles for memories, the dementia tour, we’ve got a memory café that’ll be starting next month, so stay tuned for information about that and some interesting things coming up with training regarding a different way of looking at Dementia” said Sander.

If you’re interested in attending the Dementia tour or learning about additional services the Alpena Senior Citizens Center has to offer, you can contact them at 989-356-3585 for more information