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St. Charles event offers lesson on life with dementia

Published: Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – Those who want to better understand what it feels like to have Alzheimer’s or dementia are invited to a Friday event at the soon-to-open Autumn Leaves of St. Charles.

“Through the Alzheimer’s Looking Glass” will feature a virtual dementia experience in which participants must complete a list of tasks while wearing different items on their hands, feet, ears and eyes. The purpose is to simulate a loss of cognitive function.

Anyone who has dealt with any form of dementia should attend, said Anna Morgese, community relations director for Autumn Leaves Alzheimer’s and Memory Care at 10 N. Peck Road.

She said the exercise helps participants “get such a better understanding of what that person goes through in a daily basis to do everyday tasks.”

Participants at a recent virtual dementia experience in Crystal Lake described the activity as overwhelming and said it helped them relate to people suffering from dementia, she said.

“’I totally get the shuffle now,’” Morgese recalled one woman as saying.

According to Autumn Leaves, about 210,000 people in Illinois are living with Alzheimer’s.

Call Morgese at 630-777-0712 to register for the free event. It will include a complimentary lunch, building tours and a presentation by Autumn Leaves co-founder Jane Anderson, who will share innovative communication techniques for caregivers, Morgese said.

Family owned and operated, Autumn Leaves communities are open or under construction in Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia and Illinois. Visit AutumnLeaves.com or call 888-598-2375 for information.

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