WORCESTER, MA — On February 28th, 50 students from the pharmacy and physical therapy programs at MCPHS University (Worcester Campus) participated in an interactive Dementia Sensitivity Training, created and facilitated by Senior Living Residences (SLR), an assisted living management firm of Braintree, MA. The training is a component of SLR’s Dementia Friendly Communities Initiative, which helped make Westfield, MA the first dementia friendly city on the East Coast.
The workshop comprises two parts, Understanding Dementia in the Real World, a presentation and discussion that reviews what dementia is and how to communicate best with those who have it, and The Dementia Experience, a hands-on, multi-modal learning program that uses sensory modifications to simulate certain physical and cognitive limitations and asks participants to perform activities that highlight the challenges of living alone with Alzheimer’s or related dementia-causing diseases. The Experience uniquely explains how isolation, nutrition, and medication error can lead to unnecessary complications while also providing a visceral experience of what it would be like to have dementia.
This is the second year that SLR has offered the training to students at MCPHS, many of whom intend to enter careers working with seniors and their families. SLR’s Public & Professional Education Programs are free and available to anyone who wants to better understand Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments. For more information on these offerings, please contact Pamela Maloney, Director of Communication & Public Education Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.