With life expectancy getting longer and more adult children relocating to areas far from their aging parents, senior living and assisted living facilities have become the best option for older adults who need care and help with everyday tasks. One of the reasons for this additional care is the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s. These conditions can have an impact on the person’s physical, mental and emotional health so a wide variety of training is needed to meet the needs of each patient. And there is a great new program that uses technology to offer caregivers a glimpse into the world of their patients.
During the training session, caregivers are placed in a simulated apartment and asked to complete simple tasks that one deals with each day. But before they are allowed to begin, they are equipped with special goggles, earphones and other unique devices that simulate what the dementia patient is seeing, hearing and feeling. The goal is to provide caregivers with an understanding of the difficulties that seniors are facing on a daily basis. It allows the caregiver to be more empathetic as well as offering insight into additional needs and creative ways to meet those needs.
After the simulation is completed, caregivers are then given an opportunity to discuss their experience and share their thoughts and feeling with the other members of the training class. This discussion time also offers the opportunity to share ideas for improved treatment and assistance for patients. Having a better understanding of what the patients are seeing and feeling allows caregivers to be more helpful and more supportive. Frustration is a big factor for many dementia patients but they often can’t express their thoughts and feelings clearly. Now their caregivers will have some firsthand experience and be able to better understand their patient’s feelings and help them to work past the frustration.
Technology has offered many wonderful improvements and safety tools that can make the life of a senior much less stressful. Having emergency call systems is a great way to offer seniors the ability to continue with an active lifestyle but also have a comfort of knowing that help is just a moment away. Having the ability to continue to interact with others and keep the mind active is also critical for all older persons. Cellphones, emails, and video calls are all great ways to stay in contact with older loved ones and keep them engaged in life and current activities.
Nothing can replace human contact and care, but when you have to be far away having a way to speak to and see your loved one can be very helpful. Knowing that the caregivers are continuing to train and learn about the issues facing older seniors is also very reassuring. Having quality senior care at a senior living or assisted living facility is critical. This is the biggest factor in the resident’s happiness and quality of life and is not something that should be taken lightly.