When setting up to do a Virtual Dementia Tour, it is important to make sure you have some key elements in place to maximize the effectiveness of the experience. In the experience room itself, make sure you have properly set the stage by:
- Arranging furniture so that the participant is not compelled to go in a circle to find task items. If you have all of the tables, chairs, etc. along the walls and nothing in the middle of the room, it is not challenging the participant.
- Adjusting the lumens within the range listed in the VDT manual. Light will be uneven throughout most rooms, so you want to be sure every part of the room falls within range.
- Make sure some task items are in abstract locations. If you do have anything with drawers, some simple pop up bins, boxes or other storage containers can be used.
- Make sure there is enough space for the participants to wander. Wandering encourages other behaviors such as rummaging. If there is no where to go, the participant is likely to do far less.
- Include several distractor items that appear to have a purpose but are not task related. For example, placing written material near the note pad often causes the participant to copy the words nearby or a pill box encourages the participant to fill it with the “pills”. If you need inspiration, look to your junk drawer at home. Extra clothing, towels and rags, poker chips, car wash tokens, office or kitchen supplies, etc. all make great distractor items.
- Above all, follow the instructions regarding set up in the VDT manual.
There are many other tips for setting the stage. Some information you can find in the member port. If you have questions, please use the VDT forum within the member portal. We are happy to answer your questions and give you the tools you need to conduct the best VDT possible.