There was a health fair downtown last weekend which offered a
glimpse into the world of those suffering from dementia, as well as other health screenings.
The free fair was sponsored by the Newman Forum of SEAPA
(Stanislaus Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance)
The main feature, “Dementia Reality Tour”, was a 20-minute exercise
which simulates what life is like for somebody locked into the world of dementia.
Participants in the tour are asked to complete a series of basic household tasks while wearing goggles, headsets and cumbersome gloves which simulate dementia.
M, T and I went through it.
We were given large thick gloves to wear, along with blurry goggles which also had reinforcement circles in the center. Seeing wasn't easy.
We were also given to put inside our shoes pieces of plastic runner that you had to wear pointy sides up...yeow!
But with older people they often have neuropathy,
and this was to show what they may feel when they walk.
The headphones gave you directions for 3 tasks at a time,
but in between there were loud sirens,
children playing, adults talking,
people whispering, a phone ringing
and other distractions.
And they WERE distractions!
I finally finished putting on a shirt and buttoning it (which was no easy feat)
but forgot what the next task was.
When the phone rang in the headphones I stopped and looked for it!
I don't think I finished half of the tasks....let alone did many correct.
It was just so eye-opening,
and it reaffirmed a lot of things we had gone through with my parents.
It brought back to me a lot of things that we had lived.
I realized how difficult it was for my parents,
and how ignorant I was to what they was going through.
It is a must for us all, not matter what age.
If something like this comes to your town
and you are able to attend,
It will be the most insightful 20 mins of your life.