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 the caregiver loses touch with empathy for the patient. Hopefully, the VDT®’s unique inside look will serve as a boost for anyone devoting time to care for a patient with dementia.
“The Virtual Dementia Tour gives insight into the realities of dementia in a way that can only be provided through personal experience,” said P.K. Beville, Founder, Second Wind Dreams and inventor, Virtual Dementia Tour. “National Take the Tour Day represents a way to stand up for those living with dementia today in this country. These people need a voice, and they cannot wait on a cure.”
During the Take the Tour Day, over 2,500 people across the country will be granted free access to the virtual tour, adding to the more than 1 million nationwide who have already experienced it. One would only have to visit one of about 100 eldercare facilities to avail of the complimentary VDT®.
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America‘s President and CEO, Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. has been invited to take the Virtual Dementia Tour, together with other key New York residents. Edward P. Mangano, Nassau County Executive, is set to speak at this year’s National Take the Tour Day as well.
Second Wind Dreams® will be presenting at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building, 1550 Franklin Avenue, Mineola, NY in the 2nd floor Ceremonial Chamber from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.secondwind.org.