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Area Agency on Aging gives caregivers first hand insight on how those with Dementia live

During the training participants are given shoe inserts, glasses, gloves, and headphones to alter their senses.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Caregivers received a training class geared towards aiding those who live with dementia. 

The training was held by the Area Agency on Aging of the Coastal Bend and provided insight on how those with dementia live, and the lingering effects it has on the mind. 

During the training participants are given shoe inserts, glasses, gloves, and headphones to alter their senses. 

After the participants are fully geared up they are guided into a separate room where they must follow directions and complete certain tasks. 

"The inability to find something you are looking for and you can't because you can't feel it," Naomi Hamilton said. 

While the virtual tour proved to be a challenge, it was also an emotional time for caregivers such as Hamilton. 

"The whole experience was brutal," Hamilton said. "I'm sorry to say that. My heart goes out to our Alzheimer's family and friends, because it is hard to keep from crying. We are coming a long way but that experience, everyone should go through that at least once."

Dementia is used to describe the loss of someone's ability to remember, think or make decisions that interfere with doing everyday activities. 

Caregiver Program Specialist Felipa Wilmot said reuniting with elderly loved ones during holiday gatherings can often be a time when you might notice something is not quite right. 

"Especially during the holidays, long distance caregivers, that say I'm coming home, but when I talk to my mom I'm noticing signs," Wilmot said. 

Symptoms such as memory loss, challenges in planning or problem solving, and difficulty completing familiar tasks.

"Thinking skills have been compromised, thought processes have been compromised, they have poor judgement, do things they would normally not do," Wilmot said. 

While 3News was not allowed to film part of the event, we can agree it was disorienting at the least, but also eye opening. 

"You will pick up on words here and there, but you don't make the total connection of what you need to do," Wilmot said. "Not being able to know what you need to do, you need to do this this and this, you've lost them too much information."

The event was a window into the world of those who live with dementia, and some can say it has helped caregivers to know how to better give quality care.

Corpus Christi was recently designated as a dementia friendly city.

The title is important as an effort to help raise awareness and provide resources for seniors who are living with dementia.

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