Getting a Closer Look at Alzheimer
Two months ago I participated in a Virtual Dementia Tour at Arden Courts Assisted Living. The brief experience provided me with an interesting new perspective on living with this challenging disease and other “age related” disabilities like arthritis and macular degeneration.
Although I have visited many communities and spent time with individuals who have dementia I was eager to immerse myself in an environment that might enable me to better reflect on these challenges. After completing the Virtual Dementia Tour I asked the staff at Arden Courts if I could spend some time in resident’s shoes and they agreed. So next week I will be spending a day at the Arden Courts in Annandale, VA.
Today my wife attended a meeting to schedule my admission. She came home with many forms and documents and will be sharing her perspective on this experience with some posts on the blog soon. Tomorrow evening she will attend a meeting with several other families that have loved ones moving into the center.
Like my other immersion projects I won’t be pretending to have any disabilities or utilizing the tools provided in the Virtual Dementia Tour for this experience. I have seen tremendous value in spending time in settings where I am not a visitor, family member, staff or caregiver. I will be playing the role of a resident and observing and interacting in my environment as though it was my home.
I am not sure what the experience will teach me, since each of the last four “moves” that I made were such invaluable experiences I have no doubt that this one provide me with knowledge and perspective that will be helpful too.
I don’t have a crystal ball either – so someday my wife and I might be going through this process in reality.