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Georgia Public Library Service launches pilot program to offer family virtual dementia tour to community

GPLS News, October 2018

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Oct. 10, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Imani Spencer, Second Wind Dreams, 470-242-0365 or imani@secondwind.org;
Deborah Hakes, Georgia Public Library Service, dhakes@georgialibraries.org

Atlanta, GA – Georgia Public Library Service is partnering with Second Wind Dreams® to launch a program allowing families to check out the Family Virtual Dementia Tour® (VDT®). SWD created the Tour as a specialized program to meet the growing need for family-specific, person-centered care.

Second Wind Dreams (SWD) improves the quality of life for elders through the fulfillment of dreams and the offering of its patented Virtual Dementia Tour to more than three million people in 20 countries and thousands of health care entities in the U.S. As the population grows older around the world, SWD focuses its resources on developing ways to increase caregivers’ ability to provide empathic care.

The Family Virtual Dementia Tour is a self-guided tour that simulates what dementia may be like, recommended to be experienced in the environment where care is provided.

Here’s the experience of one Tour participant:

“My mum used to love listening to me play the violin, but as her dementia and Alzheimer’s progressed, she would immediately lose interest,” says Rob. “Because of the Tour, I learned that one loses the ability to filter out background sounds. I bought an electric violin and played over headphones to block out background noises. She was very happy and began moving her head to the music whenever I played. Many thanks - you gave us a lovely memory we otherwise wouldn't have had.”
The Family Edition of the Virtual Dementia Tour has been provided to families for several years, and this partnership with Georgia Public Library Service will allow families to experience it for free in 25 libraries across Georgia, with participation in cities including but not limited to: Marietta, Cobb, Columbus, LaFayette, Conyers, Griffin, Albany, Rome, Valdosta, Milledgeville, Madison and more. Patrons can check the Tour out for up to seven days, for at-home use only.

About Second Wind Dreams
Second Wind Dreams® is an internationally-known, nonprofit organization changing the perception of aging through the fulfillment of dreams and the offering of educational programs to help caregivers understand the physical and mental challenges facing those with dementia. Founded in 1997 by award-winning geriatric specialist PK. Beville, M.S., the Atlanta-based organization is recognized as the first in the nation to focus on enhancing the quality of life for elders. For more information on Second Wind Dreams or the Virtual Dementia Tour, please contact Melora Jackson, Virtual Dementia Tour Manager, at 470-242-0358.

About Georgia Public Library Service
Georgia Public Library Service empowers libraries to improve the lives of all Georgians. We provide innovative, scalable library technology and services; staff training and best practices; grant administration and more to create equity in library experience for patrons, no matter where they live. We also work with elected officials to ensure they understand the critical role that libraries play in meeting the immediate and long-term needs of citizens. Georgia Public Library Service is the state library administrative agency and a unit of the Board of Regents, University System of Georgia. www.georgialibraries.org