Living with dementia is possibly one of the most isolating things that exist today. While we can sympathize with a sufferer and try to help manage their symptoms, it's almost impossible for us to know what the person is really going through.
In order to make sense out of all of this, there's recently been an initiative called A Walk Through Dementia that aims to help non-sufferers better understand what it's like living with dementia through the brand new medium of virtual reality.
By using a fully immersive technology like virtual reality, the initiative aims to knock away stigmas and give non-sufferers a way into understanding what this disease is all about.
Virtual Experience: A Walk Home
Living with Dementia
What is this disease?
We can start to talk about what dealing with dementia is like by talking about what it's not. It's not a natural byproduct of the aging experience as many people seem to believe. It is a byproduct, but it's a byproduct of a number of diseases such as Alzheimer's which affect the brain in different ways.
It's all due to the type of damage that this disease has caused in the brain. This illness is really a sign or symptom of a larger disease that's causing damage to the brain.
The way the app works is to simulate different aspects of people with dementia to show the user just how hard coping with the disease can be. Even something as simple as going to the store can be a real challenge, as it requires spatial awareness, planning, calculation, and concentration. All of these things become much harder with the illness.
Things such as reading a shopping list become difficult due to damage to the back of the brain. This is where visual processing occurs, and it can affect things like following lines of text.
Short term memory loss is very common when it comes to living with dementia, but things like writing out lists can be very helpful toward combating this common issue.
Other things such as food preference can even be affected by this disease. There are certain dementias that even make the sufferer crave sweet foods more than usual. Dementia is a disease that is commonly misunderstood, and most people don't know just how pervasive it can be depending on the type of illness.
It's common for anybody to be annoyed when a supermarket changes its layout, but this can be something that someone experiences on a walk through with dementia every time they go to the store. It's a condition where everything can seem new even after a short period of time. This can be incredibly frustrating for someone who has to deal with this on a daily basis.
Anxiety is very common in the early stages of the disease, as your brain isn't functioning properly, and this is something you can tell right away. Even simple things like having to count change in public can be a recipe for anxiety.
How does it affect you in the outside world?
Getting lost is quite common with this illness. Sometimes people will forget where they are or how they got there, and other times they won't be able to figure out a route back home.
Failing to recognize people, even the ones you love, is a painful experience. When diseases like Alzheimer's progress, this becomes more and more of a common thing to happen to those who suffer.
Things like puddles can be mistaken for holes to people who suffer from this illness. Shiny floors can also seem wet to someone who's living with the disease.
How you can help.
When it comes to dealing with this illness and the causes of it, you'll probably want to look into financial assistance.
It's also common to do price checking so that you can be sure that your loved one will be going to the right facility for the right cost. Not every facility was made equal, so it's important to know that they'll be getting the real help that they truly need. Get in touch with us today.