Living with dementia can be a frightening time of life for seniors as they begin to cope with a fast-changing world, one they can no longer understand the way they once did.

It’s also challenging for family members who must learn how to help their loved ones adjust to changes in routine and the loss of independence that can result.

And first responders haven’t always been trained in the best practices when they’re called on to help people who are living with dementia.

While family members may notice forgetfulness or a lack of impulse control, a first responder might encounter a senior who has slurred speech or is driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

But one thing that family members and first responders have in common is that they can’t see the world through the eyes of the person who has dementia, so they can’t understand why the person is asking the same question a dozen times or is driving dangerously slowly on a busy highway.

Arbor Terrace Lakeway offers training geared toward giving first responders the tools they need to help seniors who have dementia.

Dementia Live® is a high-impact, dementia-simulation experience, provided by AGE-u-cate Training Institute, that offers an immersive experience into the world of dementia. Participants come away from the event with a deeper understanding of how it feels to live with the cognitive impairment and sensory changes that accompany dementia. 

The program is designed to boost empathy for people living with dementia, help to build bridges of communication, reduce caregiver stress, and improve the quality of visits for family members.

The Arbor Company’s goal is eventually to offer Dementia Live® training to all EMS teams, firefighters, and other first responders in the Lakeway community.

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