Meadow Ridge Staff: Training for Dementia

May '19

This spring, a special training program was presented at Meadow Ridge. The Virtual Dementia Tour® (VDT) offers the latest and most advanced tools to help our staff understand and better care for those experiencing dementia.

The VDT is an educational program that helps people virtually relate to the physical and mental challenges of those living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. This unique interactive program has been scientifically proven to improve communication and care for those experiencing memory loss.

“As a senior living community that serves residents through varying stages in life, being prepared to care for those with memory loss is crucial,” said Executive Director Michelle Bettigole.

Over a three-day period, more than 125 staff members completed the training.

VDT involves four sensory-altering components. Each staff member wore goggles that distorted their vision, shoe inserts to alter their coordination, gloves to transform their sense of touch, and headphones to distract their hearing and thinking. They were then asked to enter an apartment environment and perform a series of simple tasks based on normal daily living.

“It was so interesting to see and feel what it might be like to have dementia,” said Move-in Coordinator, Brenda Saraceni. “Without this tour, I could never imagine what it felt like or how challenging it would be.”

Participants also said it was an eye-opening experience that helped them better understand and care for Meadow Ridge residents, or even their own family members living with dementia.