Alzheimer’s simulation teaches students struggles with disease

Several students and teachers in Hardin County Schools wore purple Jan. 18 to promote Alzheimer’s awareness. A simulation to help people understand what it is like to have the disease was held the same day. Photo submitted by Monica Hall

Wanting to learn more Alzheimer’s and teach the community about the disease, several students at Hardin County Schools’ Early College and Career Center created a simulation.

Symptoms of the neurodegenerative disease include inability to communicate, increased sleeping, loss of bowel and bladder control, and weight loss.

The simulation, which was held Jan. 18, involved about 75 students putting on gloves filled with popcorn kernels to simulate the loss of feeling Alzheimer’s disease patients have in their hands. Students also used Oculus virtual reality goggles to simulate a day in the life of someone with Alzheimer’s.

Students involved with the development of the simulation said they learned facts about Alzheimer’s they didn’t know.

“I don’t think I realized the feeling in their hands and how much that goes away and how much more difficult it is for them to do the simple tasks like tie their shoe,” said Hailey Robbins, a junior at Central Hardin High School.

Chloe Sloan, a junior at Central Hardin whose grandmother has Alzheimer’s, said the simulation broadened her understanding of the disease.

Sloan also added Alzhei­mer’s, which has no known cure, also can affect younger generations, including people as young as 2.

“It’s scary,” she said.

In addition to the simulation, students also are completing a Memories Matter Wall of Fame at EC3 honoring individuals with Alzheimer’s. Those who have or had a family member who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can send a photo of the individual to Monica.Hall@hardin.kyschools.us.

Trey Crumbie can be reached at 270-505-1747 or tcrumbie@thenewsenterprise.com.

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