Short-term memory loss, mood swings, changes in personality. Subtle shift in the ability to complete normal tasks, the inability to find the right words to communicate with others.
These are all common symptoms of dementia, a medical condition that impairs one’s thoughts, communication and memory.
In order to better understand dementia patients and the challenges they face, Mitchell Convalescent Center (MCC) has invested in virtual dementia technology. MCC staff members went through a process to become Virtual Dementia Tour certified, which allows them to use the technology to educate other staff members, family members and the community on the impairments that dementia patients deal with daily.
The technology is an evidence-based approach to build a greater understanding of dementia through the use of patented sensory tools and instruction. During the virtual dementia experience, trained MCC staff members guide participants through common everyday tasks and exercises while they are outfitted with devices that alter their senses and provoke cognitive challenges similar to what those with dementia face.
“The technology has really helped our staff be better prepared to care for residents with dementia,” said Jamie Womack, administrator at Mitchell Convalescent Center. “It allows us to experience the same challenges our residents experience daily, and gives us a greater understanding of the difficulties they’re faced with.”
MCC plans to host educational sessions for resident’s family members and community members to help sensitize caregivers and anyone who interacts with seniors to help change the way we care for those with dementia.
“This is one way we can work together as a community to ensure patients with dementia are getting the best care possible,” said Womack. “I’m proud of our staff for earning this certification that will have such a great impact on our residents and our community.”