The University of Northern Iowa’s gerontology program now has an entire house near campus where they can run a dementia simulation. Gerontology professor Elaine Eshbaugh says she has never heard of another simulation with the entire house, though there are some portable simulations.
She says the environment is key in teaching about the lives of dementia patients.
Eshbaugh says those who go through the house are given gloves, glasses, and headphones to simulate having dementia.
Eshbaugh says it shows what friends, family members, and patients with dementia deal with every day.
Eshbaugh says they have nurses and doctors go through the house along with family and friends. She wants to see even more people who may come into contact with someone dealing with dementia go through it too.
Up to four guests may go through each 45-minute session. Eshbaugh said the sessions are continuously full, bringing in 30 to 40 people each week.
She says she originally was hoping to just get two dorm rooms to use for the simulation, so this has worked out great to have the full house.