Second Wind Dreams®, an Atlanta-based international non-profit organization for the gerontological population, is set to present its flagship program Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT®) next week, Thursday, November 6 in New York City. This year's event is in commemoration of the organization's National Take the Tour Day, which began in 2013 as a day of solidarity for the 5.4 million Americans living with dementia. The VDT® is an evidence-based approach to fostering compassion and understanding in dementia patients' caregivers by allowing them to experience a simulation of how it feels to have Alzheimer's disease. It alters the participants' physical and sensory abilities before placing them in a "normal living situation" to perform simple, everyday tasks.
There are over 15 million people caring for Alzheimer's patients in the US. Patients' cognitive, physical, and functional abilities will steadily decline as the years pass, and it is not rare for caregivers to experience sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and exhaustion. When these feelings linger, it increases the risk of elderly neglect and maltreatment, especially when th