Blaine was in mid-life when he met his wife Georgia. Blaine’s elderly mother, however, was beginning to feel the effects of her age. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Blaine was forced to make a decision. Just a month after marrying Georgia, Blaine moved his mother into the couple’s home.
Blaine’s mother seemed to be okay – at least on the surface. She could carry out simple tasks. Georgia began to feel frustrated, however, when her new mother-in-law would act in a bizarre manner. The elderly woman would often forget to wash her laundry. She even once started a fire in the family home.
Frustrated, Blaine’s marriage began to feel the impact. Then the man opted to participate in an experiment, along with a television reporter. The experiment opened up Blaine’s eyes to his mother’s world and the results left him sobbing.
Blaine and the reporter were each “outfitted” to simulate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Their fingers were taped. They were outfitted with special goggles that greatly impaired their vision. The two had objects placed in their shoes to impair their ability to stand and walk correctly. Finally, they were outfitted with headphones that fed a sort-of jabber that was audible, but barely recognizable through the static.
Each person was then charged with five tasks to complete. A woman gave them each a series of tasks that ranged from finding and adorning a particular article of clothing to clearing the kitchen table of the dinner dishes.
Blaine, along with the reporter, soon understood the challenges and limitations that Alzheimer’s patients are faced with everyday. The experiment left the reporter in frustration. Blaine was in tears and equipped with a new-found understanding of his mother’s life.