Dementia can cripple patients and severely limit their senses. One Wisconsin elderly center wants to help loved ones understand the effects of the disease by experiencing it themselves.
What was once a well lit room now seems dim. Seemingly simple tasks like setting the table or folding clothes are now a challenge.
Nancy Cedar's mother suffers from a form of dementia. While this is just a test for Nancy, for her mother it's everyday life.
"I would really like the opportunity to walk in her shoes for a little bit," says Nancy Cedar.
That's why cedar decided to take the virtual tour of dementia. Leaders at the Homme House, an adult day care center in Wausau put it on. Complete with yellow tinted goggles, beaded shoe inserts, thick gloves and headphones spitting out a variety of noises, Cedar attempted to navigate through basic tasks.
"Visually it's extremely hard, I know I'm supposed to write a note to her family but I'm not able to see where that is," explains Cedar. "I got into that room and I didn't know what I needed to do. It was very, very unsettling."
Now Nancy has a new perspective on her mother's disease.
"It made me realize I need to be a better guide, and I need to anticipate more things than I do now," explains Cedar.
Program leaders say that's exactly the point. The Alzheimer's Association runs a 24 hour helpline from the number on your screen.