It's difficult to know exactly what it's like to have dementia, but the Virtual Dementia Tour is an opportunity for you to experience it for yourself - and it's only momentary.

First of all,  you need to understand what dementia is. According to the Alzheimer's Association, dementia is not a specific disease. It's actually a term that is used to describe a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory and thinking skills in such a way that it affects a person's ability to perform everyday activities.

Alzheimer's dementia is the most common form of dementia, affecting more than 5 million Americans. It's a huge issue in our country.

Dementia symptoms can vary, but it can be considered dementia if at least two of these mental functions are substantially impaired.

* Memory
*Communication and language
*Ability to focus and pay attention
*Reasoning and judgment
*Visual perception

So, what is it like to have dementia? Maybe you have a friend or family member who is experiencing dementia and you aren't exactly sure what they are going through. It is easy to become frustrated because you don't really know what it's like.

Here's your chance to experience something similar to what they are dealing with.

Mantey Heights Rehabilitation & Care Center in Grand Junction is offering a free virtual dementia tour experience this Friday and Saturday(August 3 and 4).

Kimberly Bryant, the Executive Director/Administer at Mantey Heights described the experience to us this way.

The virtual dementia tour is like a sensitivity training for folks taking care of people with dementia or people that might experience someone with dementia. It's equipment we put on you so that you have the feeling of pain in your feet, that your vision is affected, your hands have big gloves, and you have headphones on that play a lot of back ground noise.

You're given five tasks to do in a room that is dark,confusing, and and jumbled. It just really tells people how someone with dementia - why they are so confused - because they can't discern specific things. There's just too much input.

Anyone interested is welcome to experience the virtual dementia tour this Friday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm and Saturday from 9am-2pm. Bryant says the entire experience, including a debriefing, should take about 45 minutes.

Mantey Heights is located at 2825 Patterson Road in Grand Junction.

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