ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) A new virtual reality program in Rochester is giving family, friends, and caregivers a chance to really see what their loved one’s are experiencing.
St. John’s is undergoing training in “The Journey Through Alzheimer’s.” It’s a training that includes a virtual reality goggles that simulates the challenges of doing simple tasks and experiences the early, middle and late stages of the disease.
Eighty-percent of St. John’s residents are living with dementia. Staff at St. John’s hopes this experience will bring better care for dementia patients.
“So we want those things to kind of stay with them and have that inform their care when they are taking care of people and talking to family members so they can explain it to them this is what your loved ones is going through and this is why maybe respond the way you expect them to when you say things to them,” Mimi DeVinney, St. John’s Dementia/Quality of Life Specialist
St. Johns says it’s an immersive experience.
“You would see the progression where at first, I felt pretty normal, and then by the end everyone’s voices were really warped, I couldn’t figure out why everyone was mad at me that dinner wasn’t ready, I ended up feeling really bad about myself,” Carrie Cusker, St. John’s team member.
About 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease according to the Alzheimer’s Association. They project that number to rise to nearly 14-million by the year 2050.

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