Dementia demonstration sheds light on aging

MARQUETTE — In the UP alone, there are over 9000 people with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Many of us have loved ones affected by these diseases, so it’s important to fully understand them. To try to help that understanding, the Alzheimer’s Association and Brookridge Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care hosted a Virtual Dementia Tour. Those who take the tour got a first hand look at what it’s like to do everyday tasks while impaired by dementia.

“I think the tour is incredible, I think it’s an incredible experience and the more people we can have go through it the better off I think all of our community would be. It gives people a sense of what it’s like to have Alzheimer’s and dementia and then, hopefully, to be better caregivers for those that are suffering from that illness,” said Julie Kelly, the Sales and Marketing Director for Brookridge Heights.

Visitors wore spiky shoe inserts and over sized rubber coated gloves to simulate neuropathy and arthritis. They also wore headphones playing white noise to get a feel for what hearing loss is like and special glasses to imitate macular degeneration and vision loss. After that, they did a set of simple chores in a darkened room.

“Part of bringing it here to the college campus was to provide that education and awareness to the younger population so they can realize that this is a huge issue. We’re all going to age eventually and, you know, this is potentially an issue that could impact all of us. And most of everybody here knows somebody with Alzheimer’s or dementia and has been directly affected by it,” added Clarissa Bean, a Social Work Intern at the Alzheimer’s Association.

If you’d like to learn more about dementia or the Virtual Dementia Tour, you can contact Julie Kelly (906)-225-6965.