Caregiver Action Network Brings a New Vision on Alzheimer’s to the Hill

CAN Brings a New Vision on Alzheimer's to the Hill

Over the past few weeks, the Caregiver Action Network team has been meeting with staff of the California Delegation to discuss new and groundbreaking empathy-based virtual reality (VR) training for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Our partners at Embodied Labs provided this technology. Embodied Labs is a California-based immersive VR training platform. Their VR experiences help caregivers understand the perspectives and conditions of others. To date, CAN has met with nearly a dozen members of the California delegation. Their goal is to bring this training to over 100,000 family caregivers across California.

As the inaugural John Schall Policy & Programs Fellow, I believe members of the California Delegation should play a crucial role. Their role should focus on expanding access to VR training for their constituents. This work is part of the CalGrows Innovation Fund through the California Department of Aging. It is made possible by the federal Older Americans Act.

This was a new process for me, but I feel as if we made amazing progress toward our goal. The meetings were wonderful, and the teams were all very interested in the training demos we showed, to the point that we discussed having a House Staffer training as some had a direct connection to caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. We also discussed planned events in California to bring this training to more caregivers. The idea is to put our boots on the ground for greater impact. They seemed thrilled with the idea, which was extremely refreshing.

Policy Aspect of Caregiving in California

One of the most interesting topics to me was the policy aspect of caregiving in California. We also discussed how we can utilize these trainings effectively. I have an interest in Public Policy. It’s wonderful to see that we will be making an impact and getting different California Representatives to try the training. We will also discuss various opportunities with them to tackle Alzheimer’s. I’m excited to see how the teams from Embodied Labs and Caregiver Action Network can come together to bring some impactful change in how California treats its population of caregivers and the loved ones for whom they are caring.

If you are a resident of California, I strongly urge you to try out this training. It is available for free and can give you a good insight into the mind of an individual who is suffering from this neurodegenerative disease. Whether you are a former, future, or current caregiver, I believe that you can benefit from this VR training. If interested, you can try out these trainings at the link below. I know this has been impactful for me and will change how I treat and communicate with individuals impacted by Alzheimer’s. I’m certain it will be just as impactful for you.

Link to Web Immersive Training:

VR training

By Dakota Heath, Caregiver Action Network