Virtual dementia tour guides caregivers in Missoula - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Virtual dementia tour guides caregivers in Missoula

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MISSOULA - Understanding what it’s like to have dementia is difficult unless you can experience what it’s like for yourself.

A program called “virtual dementia” gives caregivers the chance to feel the frustration and challenges a dementia patient experiences every day.

Just how the test is conducted is proprietary, but essentially, a person tries to complete simple tasks while their vision, dexterity, and hearing are altered, similar to what many dementia patients experience.

MTN news recently stopped by the Springs retirement community in Missoula to learn more about the program.

"When you're caring for someone with dementia, it's important to know what they're going through, too. It's important to walk in their shoes, even if just for a few minutes so that you can have compassion, caring, and understanding of their disease process," said Sherry Mayeaux.

"It was scary. It was eye-opening. It was traumatic. But I feel I can walk out of here and feel good about understanding more about them ( and their disease process) already," added Abby Maricelli.

The virtual dementia tour also guides families to adjust their homes and lifestyles to help their loved one struggling with cognitive problems.

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