Dementia affects nearly 50 million people worldwide, but most of the population has no idea what it feels like. Even if you have a family member suffering from a cognitive disease, it’s hard to imagine what goes on inside their head.
Frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, and Alzheimer’s can cause disorientation, light sensitivity, hallucinations, and sudden changes in food preferences. Experiencing these symptoms can be traumatic during everyday activities such as grocery shopping or taking a walk. If anything breaks from routine, it may suddenly cause a mental disconnect, unexpected confusion, spatial disorientation, blurred details and faces, or a fear that shadows on the floor could be treacherous holes.
Take a Walk Through Dementia
Understanding what it’s like to have dementia is possible using an app called A Walk Through Dementia. Developing authentic storylines from actual Alzheimer’s patients, the app translates them into virtual reality with a phone and a cardboard headset to simulate the experience. It recreates what people suffering from dementia actually see and feel in a 360° animated 3D scenario.
Cognitive problems are harder for the public to empathize with than physical diseases with more visually disturbing symptoms. Researchers, like those at Alzheimer’s Research UK, hope to get more funding for fighting and curing dementia once people understand it better. Empathy comes from being in someone else’s shoes. We can literally do that now.
Continuing to Fight Dementia
Alzheimer’s and related dementia are major public health crises, and the number of people affected is expected to double every 20 years as the aging population expands. It will be up to the younger generations, watching their parents and grandparents decline, to embrace the new technology and get inspired to solve the problem through science.
Help from an Elder Law Attorney
In the meantime, if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a form of dementia, there are many things you can do to prepare and protect yourself. Elder law attorneys specialize in issues that affect the elderly population, working with their families to put together financial resources for long-term care and memory care. Knowing that arrangements are made for quality health care in a chosen facility, and that trusted people are designated to make financial and medical decisions when it’s necessary, offers peace of mind.
We hope you found this article helpful. Contact our Chicago area office at 630-568-6656 to discuss how we can help you with any legal questions you may have. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.