Centerpoint Team Completes Dementia Live Training
April 6, 2022:
We have written in the past about the toll living with dementia can have on both the diagnosed individual and the caretaker. Luckily, as the health care industry continues to learn more about the disease, more resources are becoming available for both caretaker training and family support. Recently, we hosted Old Colony Hospice in our office to learn more about how we can understand the perspective of those living with dementia. The session was very enlightening.
The title of the workshop was called Dementia Live and included not only an educational lesson from certified professionals who deal directly with caring for memory loss patients, but also an immersive hands-on experience. Our team member participants were equipped with headphones mimicking the auditory processing of daily surroundings, double-layered gloves to desensitize fine motor skills, and glasses which dulled periphery vision, also a side effect of dementia. Wearing these items, we were then assigned five tasks to complete. These tasks were daily activities set up throughout the conference room. Examples included sorting silverware, filling a pet’s bowl with water, sweeping crumbs, and writing down the names of family members. These may seem like tasks that do not require much analysis to complete, however with sensory restriction and audio distraction, challenges common to dementia patients, the tasks we quite difficult.
During the team debriefing portion of the workshop most participants reported that the experience caused a sense of great anxiety, powerlessness, and at some points anger; these strong emotions present despite the participants’ full knowledge that the exercise would only be about 5-10 minutes. The session brought to light how truly draining it must be to go through the day facing these unrelenting hurdles, that they will most likely get worse as time goes on. While one can never truly understand the tribulations of living with dementia without medically being afflicted, the immersive experience provided by Old Colony Hospice afforded the opportunity to bring a certain level empathy to our understanding of the disease. For this, we are very grateful.