They call it a “virtual dementia” tour. For a ten to fifteen-minute period, I was placed in an environment designed to simulate the effects of dementia. People living with dementia often appear docile, giving the impression that dementia is somehow a serene experience. My experience was anything but serene.
Even though my mind re-acclimated within a few minutes, my body was still trying to make sense of the experience. I felt out of breath, even though I had done nothing strenuous. I left with a greater sensitivity for those who live with dementia, and for their caregivers.