Have you ever walked indoors and forgotten to take off your sunglasses? Or tried to do a small task with gloves on rather than take them off first? It’s a little awkward and disorienting until you remove the item hampering your senses.
Well, some Marylanders are putting the glasses and gloves on to get a better feel for what some of their patients experience every day without the chance to go back to “normal.”
The Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities is conducting virtual tours through the lives of dementia patients. Participants are outfitted with special shoes, gloves, and headgear to block some of their senses and limit mobility. Then they are asked to perform simple, everyday tasks. Not surprisingly, many can’t. They become confused, disoriented, and even frozen in place.
Caregivers taking this tour are getting new insight into the struggles and fears their patients have to face regularly, and they appreciate it. Caring for people with cognitive impairments can be very frustrating – having a little insight into their world may help to evoke a much more compassionate response and alleviate some of that frustration.
Anything that helps caregivers respond with more understanding and empathy to the patients the serve is a positive experience – let’s hope more of these opportunities become available across the nation!
Amanda Dean is an expert in senior care with almost two decades of experience. After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Human Development, Amanda was selected for the highly coveted role at NYU Langone Medical Center as a Geriatric Case Manager. She then founded and ran the largest independent local senior care advisory in NY for 12. Amanda joined Silver Living as the Senior Editor in 2012.