Health Careers students simulate Alzheimer's symptoms to raise community awareness

On April 7th, Health Careers Center students Lucero Zapata, Edna Varela, Sandra Viezcas and Tiffany Jones will compete in the Future Health Professionals (HOSA) competition with a community awareness project highlighting Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Zapata – a junior at ASTEC Charter High School and first-year Metro Tech Nurse Aide student – she and her teammates chose Alzheimer’s because it is a common affliction that affects many families in the United States.

“Our project was designed to demonstrate the symptoms Alzheimer’s patients feel to help others notice how much help they really need,” she said.

The team developed Alzheimer’s simulation exercises for their fellow students that included taping fingers together to feel lack of mobility, wearing goggles to simulate vision loss, and headphones to create the visual and auditory loss patients suffer. They also administered memory tests with added difficulties. 

In preparation for their competition, the team conducted Alzheimer’s research to develop a summary of the disease and designed brochures to increase public awareness.