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Grant Richardson, Published December 22 2013

Letter: Bethany retirement salutes VDT program

Fargo - Congratulations to Dr. Katie Woehl at Valley City State University for incorporating the Virtual Dementia Tour into her curriculum in the Department of Social Sciences (The Forum, Dec. 16.)

Seniors in all walks of life face a variety of hurdles as their health changes. Bethany Retirement Living has been using the Virtual Dementia Tour and an adjunct program called the Sensitivity Boot Camp for more than seven years as a mandatory training program for all Bethany employees, regardless of their role in our organization. We have found it to be a tremendously valuable teaching aid in giving employees a much clearer understanding of the challenges faced by many of our residents.

The program provides an opportunity to experience how deeply their behavior as an employee affects the residents’ quality of life and their perception of their care. Additionally, as the schedule allows, Bethany board members, volunteers, nursing program educators and students have been invited to participate in Bethany’s VDT program.

Many of Bethany’s employees are profoundly affected by their VDT experience, which, in turn, makes them better caregivers for those who call Bethany Retirement Living “home.”


Richardson is director of Quality and Education, Bethany Retirement Living.