Virtual Dementia Tour allows people to experience the disease's challenges

BELOIT, Wis. (WIFR) -- Dementia is a difficult disease to detect from the outside. Caring for loved ones battling the illness can be frustrating. A virtual tour allows anyone to experience the struggles those battling dementia face daily.

Virtual Dementia Tour hosted in Beloit next week

"If all of us can have a little bit better of an understanding what people that suffer from dementia are going through it allows us to respond and react to them better," says Jennifer Bowman of Azura Memory Care. "It's something that's going to impact all of us if it hasn't already."

The Virtual Dementia Tour is described as an eye-opening experience into the constant struggles of the disease. Participants place spiked inserts into their shoes to mirror pain those with dementia feel. Gloves are used to decrease fine-motor skills, and eye glasses with distorted lenses and blind spots reflect macular degeneration.

"The virtual dementia tour helps you understand what they're feeling, what they're hearing, what they're seeing," says Azura's Paula Gibson. "And by going through it you begin to see how you can do things differently to enhance their quality of life."

A headset plays background noise at the same time as a participant is dressed up in the glasses, gloves and shoe inserts. They are asked to complete five tasks.

There is a 100 percent fail rate currently.

Professionals at Azura Memory Care say it's important to understand what those with dementia are going through. They say it can help caregivers adapt to certain behaviors.

Azura Memory Care is hosting community Virtual Dementia Tours Wednesday, November 13 at the Beloit Home2 Suites from 1-6pm. The tour will last an hour, including a debriefing session to understand why tasks could not be completed.

Signing up is required at azuramemory.com.