Virtual Dementia Tour helps sensitize health care providers

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. May-Jun 2002;17(3):183-90. doi: 10.1177/153331750201700301.


A review of the literature on sensitivity training among caregivers for the elderly revealed that no programs focused specifically on the cognitive changes that occur due to aging. Second Wind Dreams, a national nonprofit organization committed to improving society's perception of aging, conducted a study in which degenerative physical symptoms common for this population, such as impaired vision and motor skills, were simulated in a group of 146 subjects who worked in the field of elder care to give them a broader sense of the patient's perspective. Overwhelmingly, participants in the study came away with heightened awareness of the plight of confused elders and a strong sense that the high behavioral expectations caregivers have for dementia patients are unrealistic and need to change.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training*
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Patient Care Team
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychomotor Disorders / psychology
  • Reaction Time
  • Sensitivity Training Groups*
  • Social Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • User-Computer Interface*