When you don’t know how your loved one with dementia experiences the world, it can be very challenging to provide the care he or she needs.

That’s why we are pleased to offer Senior Living LIVE! Dementia Live®, a high-impact, simulation experience that immerses participants into life with dementia.

Susan Robbins, Regional Director of Dementia Training for The Arbor Company will help us understand what it’s like to live with cognitive impairment, helping reduce caregiver stress. This will be an important educational experience for you and your loved one along the journey through memory loss.

Watch the video for a preview of the webinar and then visit ArborCompany.com/DementiaLive to register!


Video Transcript

- Hello everyone and welcome into Senior Living Live. My name is Melisa. As always, I hope you're having a great day today, and we appreciate you finding us via video or via podcast. But we have a wonderful opportunity coming up for all of you viewers who may have a loved one diagnosed with dementia, or you may be recently diagnosed with dementia yourself. Susan Robbins, she will be with us Thursday, January 27th at noon, for her immersive webinar called Dementia Live, that will give you an opportunity to experience how dementia effects our five senses. Susan, always great to see you. Thank you so much for being with us today. And I know that I have seen this immersive experience and we have talked about it many times, I've seen it in person, it is extremely eye-opening. I know that staff members from the Arbor Company have seen this as well, and we're really excited that we get to share it with everybody else and our viewers out there. First of all, how are you doing today?

- Thank you, I'm really good. Thank you for asking.

- Absolutely. Now, you are a regular on our show, so I know a lot of people will see you and they know a lot about you, that you're a familiar face to many, but maybe to those who don't know you, tell us a little bit about yourself and what do you do for the Arbor Company everyday?

- So, well I have the opportunity to work with all our team members at the Arbor Company to giving them the insight into what it feels like to have dementia and how to help loved ones living with dementia. So that with the right knowledge, you can give so much better care for those living with dementia. So, through Arbor, we make sure that all our team members are trained with understanding, and I support all our communities with this training and we're really excited to bring Dementia Live to this webinar, to give you an opportunity to see what it feels like for your loved one living with dementia, and know what to expect from them.

- Yeah, and we hope that this sort of preview will prep everybody. There are some things we'd like you to bring to kind of really be fully immersed into this webinar, and we'll get to those things in just a moment. But, this webinar as we mentioned, is truly immersive. It is the first time we've done something like this. So, tell us a little bit about what viewers can expect.

- Okay, well, with Dementia Live, what we're doing is we're altering all of your senses. Because dementia is not just about memory loss, it's a loss of a lot of functions. your frontal temporal lobe that allows you to make decisions and follow directions and follow through on things. So, this experience is not only gonna effect your memory, and your recall, but also your ability to do simple tasks, to help you understand when you ask someone living with demnetia to do something, what feels simple to you, you're now gonna understand how difficult it can be so that you can help them through the process of doing simple everyday things and make their lives better, and yours easier with that understanding. It creates empathy to allow people to be successful.

- Yeah, it is great, and the people who have gone through this really they sing the praises of the program, because they find out things they didn't know. You can't really react, or as you said, empathize, if you don't really know what somebody's truly going through. So, it's fantastic. Now, to realize, or really get the full value of this webinar, by participating from afar because usually when you have these, these sort of training seminars, it's in-person, so people can be a part of it and go through it. So, for somebody to really get the full value of this, what sort of items should they bring to this webinar?

- Well, with what we've done is, we've created some household items that you can use, partnered with Educate, and they've come up with this great idea of being able to do this virtual from your kitchen table and have that experience of what it is. But you are gonna need a few things and they're household things that you should have around your house. You're gonna need a pair sunglasses and a pair of gloves. Just plain regular sunglasses and gloves. And these are gonna kinda alter your ability to see things, not quite as much as the dementia itself would for somebody, but it lets you have a little bit of insight. And the gloves, people living with dementia lose the feel in their fingertips and their fine motor skills, and the gloves help to simulate that.

- And the one item that I guess somebody could bring if they wanted to, maybe headphones.

- Actually, we're gonna use the sound through your computer.

- Perfect.

- So, if you have headphones for your computer, that would be great, but if not, we can work right through the sound of your computer in the room you're in. So, a couple of other things, again, household things, you want your wallet. Very simple things, but you can learn how it is to do things with your wallet that you might think is simple but could cause frustration to somebody living with dementia. Something to drink. Also, a book or a magazine, and some paper clips, your cell phone. How often do you have a loved one that struggles with their cell phone? Well, we're gonna help you have a little insight into what that feels like as well, so that you can take the everyday things that you ask somebody living with dementia to do and make the adjustments to make their life easier and also creates patience. I think one of the biggest things that this helps people with and one of the biggest takeaways, is the ability to be patient and move slower. And you'll see why that's so important.

- Yeah, so there's a method to the madness. There's a reason we want you to bring these items, because you're going to explain how these items effect the senses. And so, it's wonderful, I'm really looking forward to it. And I know that in the real version, in the true version where you're in person and you're going through the process and the training, we've seen many police officers and firefighters from different cities, they have gone through this training. And I know the at the feedback, it is instant. You have people walk out and some people get emotional. So, can you tell us a little bit about some of that feedback that you have received instantaneously from this training?

- Well, a lot of people will share stories of oh, now I understand why this person didn't do the certain things or be able to follow the commands, because I wasn't in their field of vision, I wasn't getting eye contact with them. But I can share one of, with a firefighter that had gone through this experience that Arbor had provided, had gone through the experience in the morning, he came back in the afternoon and with almost tears in his eyes, shared how it had changed his interaction with an elderly woman that had fallen and had some physical bumps and bruises and a lot of pain, and he totally changed how he approached her. And it made the transition from where she had fallen into the hospital where she was calm and collected and able to get the information that he needed. And she was living with dementia, but that extra step made all the difference in the world, and he said my job is changed forever. And it helps anyone make that immediate decision, when somebody says something really odd when you're out in a grocery store, starting to realize that may be what it is because people with dementia still live in the real world and still function, but they have moments where they can't.

- Yeah, and a lot of times when it comes to the firefighters or police officers, they show up to a call and then they get somebody who appears impaired, and the immediate thought is, well maybe this person has had something to drink or there's chemicals involved. And no, its they're living with something that they can't help and they can't control. So, that's why it's so important to get this training out to everybody, but specifically our first responders who deal with this on a day to day basis. I think it's fantastic. So finally, Susan, why is this training important? I think we discussed it a few times here, but getting down to the nitty gritty, why is it important and why is this webinar important?

- Well, this webinar is gonna allow you to truly feel what it feels like, but just for a few moments of what it's like to live with dementia. And then, when you see someone having different behaviors, you can step back and see why they're doing it instead of questioning it and trying to change it and fix it. It gives you the ability to not only have the compassion for what they're doing, but also set your loved one up living with Dementia, for success. It's a gift that you're giving somebody that has dementia. Your passion, your understanding, and your ability to live in their world, makes their life that much easier. And so often, we struggle with what do you do? When somebody is sick, there's lots of things, you know if somebody has a fever, you give them aspirin, if somebody sprains their ankle, you put ice on it, but when somebody has a broken brain, there aren't those quick easy things to do. But this is gonna give you some tools on what you can do to help your specific loved one living with it.

- So well said, and a broken brain, I've never heard of it that way, but I think that's put in a way that everybody can understand. We take out the other big terms and words, but I think that in a nutshell really sums up dementia. And we can certainly do things in our day to day to make life easier for somebody who is living with that disease. And that's what we intend to do with your webinar coming up here on January 27th. Susan, thank you so much for being here today.

- Well, thank you for having me.

- You're welcome. And your webinars are always so well attended, we get a lot of viewer feedback from your webinars, and I know this one will be just as well attended and viewed on the backside as well, as they always are. So, if you want to watch this webinar or be a part of this immersive experience with Susan Robbins, again, January 27th, the time is noon, Eastern, and you can head on over to www.seniorlivinglive.com to register. We look forward to seeing you all then. Have a great day everybody.

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