Monday, officers from across Spartanburg County received training on how to respond to calls involving someone with dementia.
Officers from six different department went through a simulated “virtual dementia tour” where they had to do household chores wearing headphones with white noise, goggles to simulate macular degeneration, double gloves to decrease the sensation in their fingers and inserts in their shoes to show the pain of neuropathy.
MPO Randy Hardy of the Spartanburg Police Department says it’s to understand so they can better respond.
“It would make me more sensitive to what they’re going through and of course if you are more sensitive to what someone’s going through, your actions are going to be different,” Hardy explained.
Larena Gilfillan of Eden Terrace Assisted Living says by the time police get involved, there’s often a lot of frustration.
“It’s already heightened, they’ve already got a lot of emotion, yelling a lot of times, and so for them to come into that, sometimes it’s just a big mess,” Gilfillan explained. “For them to be able to come in and diffuse the situation, I think it’s huge.”
This is the first such training for these departments.