Public Health launches unique training program for people working with dementia patients

Published Sept. 21, 2023

As we recognize World Alzheimer's Day, Placer County Public Health is celebrating the addition of an innovative new workshop to its Healthy Brain Initiative program – the Virtual Dementia Tour, created by the nonprofit organization Second Wind Dreams. This unique training opportunity is designed to enhance the understanding and empathy of caregivers, healthcare professionals and individuals working with dementia patients.

The Virtual Dementia Tour is an immersive, experiential learning program that simulates the challenges faced by individuals living with dementia. It uses sensory tools to offer participants a unique opportunity to step into the shoes of those with dementia, gaining firsthand insight into the physical and emotional struggles they encounter on a daily basis. This hands-on experience is a powerful tool for promoting empathy, understanding and compassionate care.

“We are hoping to equip our community with additional knowledge and skills to provide the best possible care and support,” said program coordinator Megan Sponholz.

Dementia is a complex and widespread issue that affects millions nationwide, with 1 in 3 seniors dying with Alzheimer's or another dementia. It is estimated that over 9,760 Placer County residents are living with dementia.

The Placer County Healthy Brain Initiative is now taking requests for training dates for the Virtual Dementia Tour. Please visit our website to schedule a call to discuss bringing this training opportunity to your organization. More information, along with other resources for caregivers and health care providers, is available on the Healthy Brain Initiative website at 

More than three million people from elder care communities, corporations, community groups, nonprofit and other organizations worldwide have experienced the Virtual Dementia Tour. 

“So many of them have found the experience to be eye-opening, moving, and life-changing,” stated PK Beville, M.S., the creator of the Virtual Dementia Tour, and founder of Second Wind Dreams. “We’re proud to be part of the movement toward providing true person-centered care to some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The insight provided by the VDT changes the way caregivers interact and relate to those living with dementia … and the bottom line is better care and better outcomes.” 

About Second Wind Dreams

Second Wind Dreams® is an internationally-known nonprofit organization changing the perception of aging through the fulfillment of dreams and by offering educational programs that 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 and changing society’s perception of seniors by making dreams come true. Affiliated with thousands of elder care communities across the country, Second Wind Dreams has made tens of thousands of dreams come true for older adults. Its innovative educational program, the Virtual Dementia Tour, is a scientifically proven method of training designed to build sensitivity and awareness in individuals caring for those with dementia. For more information on Second Wind Dreams or the Virtual Dementia Tour, please contact Melora Jackson, Director of Clinical Services, 470-242-0358 or