Raquel Bustos from Cameron Hall Assisted Living in Canton and Janice Sloan from Right at Home in-home care and assistance program are going out into the community to offer other health agencies, companies and individuals Virtual Dementia Tour training.
The program is free of charge and offers a way for continuing education for professionals, family members and caregivers.
“The VDT is a great tool to assist caregivers and people who work with seniors,” Bustos said of the training. “It is a simulation of what a person might experience who has dementia or Alzheimer’s. We take this tour all over Cherokee County.”
Participants are outfitted to simulate what it’s like to have dementia, tunnel vision, macular degeneration, stroke and other issues. Then, they are given instructions to perform four or five everyday tasks such as placing a belt through pant loops, setting a table, matching socks and folding laundry.
Bustos and Sloan recently facilitated on-site training for the staff of Canton Nursing Center and Rehab on Hospital Road.
“This is a terrific way to help our staff and caregivers better relate to those we care for,” said Rosie Schlicke, an LPN and the staff development coordinator for Canton Nursing Center. “It was eye-opening and incredibly interesting to see things from their perspective.”
Angie Chastain, resident care coordinator, said it gave her and her co-workers much greater insight into the everyday reality that so many seniors face.
Bustos said the type of training they offer is well known among senior health providers and that it is not exclusive to Cherokee County. She was trained through Second Wind Dreams, an organization which supports innovative programming for seniors.
“I was trained in this years ago,” she said. “Now, I am happy to bring it to others.”
Bustos offers the program at Cameron Hall for those who are not professionals.
Those interested in hosting an on-site event for employees or church groups, or participating in an event at Cameron Hall can contact Bustos at (770) 720-0290 or Sloan at (404) 556-0121.