Nursing Students Take Virtual Dementia Tour Wednesday

Nursing Students Take Virtual Dementia Tour Wednesday
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 10:57am

EL PASO- More than 20 UTEP students will get a sense of what it's like to have memory loss tomorrow.

Students will participate in a Virtual Demential Tour (VDT) which simulates dementia through the use of a hands-on, experiential tool kit.

Participants will wear goggles that distort their vision and listen to an MP3 player that loops loud environmental noises to confuse them about their surroundings and simulate a mental disorder.

Once outfitted, students will be instructed to perform everyday tasks such as folding towels, filling a cup halfway with water and drinking it, clearing a table and putting on a necktie.

“All nursing students need to understand how difficult it is for older adults with dementia, hearing or vision impairments, and limited mobility to accomplish the many tasks we ask of them in health care, such as following directions for medication or diet regimens,” said Charon A. Pierson, Ph.D., director of UTEP’s Center for Aging.. “Our patients are aging and experiencing many of these problems daily.”

The Alzheimer’s Association projects that one out of every eight people older than age 65 will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and one of every two people older than 85 will be affected.

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