Pitt Community College Allied Health Students are learning what it looks, sounds and feels like to live with dementia.
The Virtual Dementia Tour Series at the college was made possible by a grant to help medical students gain an insight on dementia patients.
During the virtual tour, students in the program wore headphones that played static noise and sirens in their ears. They wore glasses that dimmed light and provided peripheral vision impairment. Gloves were placed on their hands to simulate the loss of sensation. And, spiked insoles were placed in their shoes to simulate the feeling of neuropathy or nerve pain in the feet.
Each student received 5 everyday tasks to complete, like folding clothing, clearing or setting a dinner table or even pouring a glass of water. The students performed those tasks in the dark, while lights flashed in the room.
Many of the students could only finish one or two tasks in a six minute time frame.
This education and proper training is expected to help caregivers provide better care for Alzheimer's or dementia patients.