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Compassus Hospice helped the Alpena Senior Citizens Center put together a Dementia tour simulation.

“So today, we’re doing what we call the virtual Dementia tour. It is an evidence based, program where people actually get to experience what it might be like if they had Dementia. And we do that by garbing people up with different things that affect their different senses” said Teri Rapp, a Hospice liaison at Compassus Hospice.

Participants of the Dementia tour were give items to represent symptoms a person with Dementia may experience. Such as glasses to distort their vision, headphones that produced loud noises to impair hearing, gloves that would limit their hand movement and sharp insoles to replicate peripheral nephropathy pain in the feet. The participants were then asked to perform a series of tasks such as counting change and putting together a puzzle.

“It’s all about being sensitive to all of the issues that people have when they have Dementia and how we can better help take care of them, better understand them, understand their role, their world. Because, we are the ones that supposedly have normal brains and they don’t have the ability to come back to ours” said Rapp.

Following the completion of the tour, participants got to sit down with a medical professional and discuss their experience and how it changed their perspective on Dementia.

Rapp hopes that participants of this tour, apply what they’ve learned and develop more patience and understanding to those suffering with Dementia.