Virtual Dementia program helps caregivers understand patients

Lisa Wurth

January 17, 2011

Caring for a parent or spouse with Alzheimer's can be a frustrating and emotionally challenging responsibility. Understanding the problem can be one of the biggest obstacles that caregivers face, but a new program, Virtual Dementia, aims to help families cope, according to USA Today.

Participants wear a pair of goggles that alters vision and hearing. They also wear gloves that make it harder to feel and touch objects. From there, individuals have to complete tasks such as dressing, writing a note and setting a table.

"The intent of the program is to sensitize those most closely involved with Alzheimer's patients to develop a higher degree of understanding and patience in dealing with their behaviors and what it takes for them to get through the day," senior living expert Dan Fox told the news source.

Arlene Arbott, whose 88-year-old husband has Alzheimer's, explained that the program has helped her better understand what her spouse is going through.

Those who are caring for a loved one with dementia may consider installing a medical alert system in their home. This device can help remind seniors when it's time to take medicine with programmed medical alerts and will also notify caregivers if medication hasn't been taken on time.