It’s hard to imagine what it’s like to have dementia. It can be even harder to communicate with those who have it. Did you know there is a class called “A Walk in Their Shoes” that can give you the experience of having dementia without having the disease?

Did You Know You Can Experience Dementia Without Having the Disease?

Did You Know You Can Experience Dementia Without Having the Disease?


When you take the class, you learn about dementia through your senses. You will put on garden gloves, and a few fingers will be banded together. You will have a nose clip and a giant clothespin. The sunglasses you’ll wear have small dots on the lenses. This makes everything hard to see and put together.

You will have popcorn kernels in your shoes to make standing and walking painful and cause you to wobble. Finally, you’ll have headphones streaming a ton of different and indecipherable sounds.

The idea is to create what daily life is like with dementia. You will probably feel anxious and afraid. You will be overwhelmed.

The class was created by Alyssa Mackey, who is a dementia trainer and direction of business development at The Residence at Salem Woods. The goal is to help people of all walks of life to be able to talk to people with dementia in better ways. To have them speak slower and be more patient.

Things like facial expression, stance, proximity, and tone of voice are key messages to those with dementia. Things become more focused on feelings and instinct.

Read more here.