Virtual Dementia Tour this Thursday at YMCA

By ALLEN MINCEY
Posted 11/13/17

With November being National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, several local organizations are joining together to give the general public a chance to "experience" what it is like to be afflicted …

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Virtual Dementia Tour this Thursday at YMCA

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With November being National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, several local organizations are joining together to give the general public a chance to "experience" what it is like to be afflicted by Alzheimer's disease or dementia, as a way to gain empathy for patients, their loved ones and caregivers.

 Love Nancy has partnered with the Cleveland Family YMCA, Senior Helpers of Chattanooga and Second Wind Dreams for the so-called Virtual Dementia Tour. The event takes place Thursday at the Cleveland Family YMCA.

"Join us for this unique experience for caregivers or anyone to take a peek into the world of Alzheimer's disease or dementia," said Catherine Patten of Love Nancy. Her mother, Nancy, died in 2008 from Alzheimer's, and the name originated as a team  name when many who supported Nancy participated in the Patten family's first Memory Walk.

The group began raising funds for the Alzheimer's Association through an event called "Wine for the Mind,"  which took place less than a month ago in Cleveland.

" Love Nancy provides support to caregivers and and their loved ones with Alzheimer's, progressive  memory impairment and special needs," Patten said. "The Virtual Dementia Tour will give those who are not as familiar with the disease as others the opportunity to 'walk a mile' in the shoes of those with Alzheimer's or dementia."

Second Wind Dreams is a not-for-profit organization which provides the Virtual Dementia Tour. The tour is a scientifically proven method designed to increase knowledge of dementia. 

Participants on the tour will find it enables them to experience their environment in a completely different way, with greater understanding and perspective into the lives of those with dementia.

Each tour segment lasts 15 minutes, beginning at 3 p.m. The tours continue until 7 p.m. Those involved in the tours ask that participants RSVP by Thursday, at 423-715-3092.

These organizations stress the tours are for those who are either not suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia, or showing signs of either.

"If you know of someone who would benefit from these tours, please let them know about them," Patten said.

The Cleveland Family YMCA is located at 220 Urbane Road N.E., at the intersection of Stuart Road and Old Tasso Road/Urbane Road.

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