Virtual tour give public an insight into dementia and Alzheimer's

Friday, June 22, 2018
Virtual tour give public an insight into dementia and Alzheimer's
What it's like to live with dementia and Alzheimer's as the Vineyards Retirement Community in Fresno hosted a Virtual Dementia Tour.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Dennis Barrett is looking for matching socks, but he's doing it peculiarly. He's wearing goggles, gloves, and headphones -- and he is having a hard time. This isn't how Barrett usually goes about his day, but this is what it would be like if he had dementia or Alzheimer's.

"It is not just memory loss there are a lot of things that happen to our eyesight, our hearing, our tactile senses," said Ren Ramshaw, The Vineyards Director of Sales and Marketing.

The accessories he's wearing each simulate a different part of the disease. Goggles make it difficult to see, and the gloves are making it hard to grab things. And you cant tell, but in his shoes, he has insoles with spikes.

"It is much more emotional than people think it is. We take for granted that we are able to see and hear and touch," said Ramshaw.

For Barrett, this hits close to home. His wife of 44 years, Carol, has dementia and Alzheimer's.

"I just notice things all the time that she used to be able to do that she can't do anymore," said Barrett.

The tour is giving him a new understanding of what his wife has to live through every day.

You don't realize how hard it is to do things when you have impairments like that."

The virtual dementia tour was part of "The Longest Day" a campaign raising awareness to end Alzheimer's. The public is encouraged to participate in Vineyards next tour in early July.