MONT ALTO, Pa. ― From 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m Oct. 7, Penn State Mont Alto will host a DementiaLive simulation, facilitated by AGE-u-cate and Penn Cares in the Multipurpose Activities Center (MAC) on the University’s campus. A high-impact dementia simulation, the experience will immerse participants into life with dementia to help them gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to live with cognitive impairment and sensory change.
Developed by the AGE-u-cate Training Institute, DimentaLive helps educate caregivers and providers “to inspire new levels of care for our elders and teach people how to embrace wellness and joy in their later years,” according to the AGE-u-cate website.
The event is open to the public and free of charge and is appropriate for health care providers, professionals working in helping services, as well as individuals personally impacted by family and friends dealing with loved ones facing these illnesses. Participants must pre-register and sign up for a specific simulation time, which takes about 40-45 minutes. The simulation will include gearing up, receiving instruction, walking through the simulation, processing the experience, and completing an evaluation.
Cognitive impairment is a topic Jackie Schwab, Penn State Mont Alto associate professor of human development and family studies, includes in her courses and deals with as a caretaker.
“There is a great need for people to work with Alzheimer’s patients and dementia-related illnesses both professionally and personally,” she said.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s dementia and every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease.
“To help me try to comprehend what happens to the brain suffering from dementia and to be a better caretaker, I attended a DementiaLive simulation last spring. It gave me insight, and I wanted to provide that same experience for my students and others who may have someone in their lives dealing with this illness,” said Schwab.
This event is a collaborative effort between Penn State Mont Alto’s Human Development and Family Studies and Psychology Program and Career Services. It is being funded by the student activities fees.