Transitions LifeCare simulator shows caregivers what the end of life feels like

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Providing quality care to patients with chronic or life-limiting diagnoses requires staff who have the ability to feel and demonstrate empathy (the ability to walk in someone else's shoes).

To instill a heightened level of empathy in healthcare providers, Transitions LifeCare developed an interactive workshop where people can experience first-hand, real-life symptom burdens common at the end of life.

During the simulation, I was given the diagnosis of cataracts, hearing loss, pancreatic cancer, and a stroke on my dominant side.

More stories by ABC11's Caregivers Corner

You can watch me struggle and completely change my normal demeanor while participating in these activities.

Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App

I instantly felt a feeling of anxiety, being closed off from the world, and the fear that I was just not going to be able to keep up and I would let others down.

You can see how people with chronic illness close off the outside world and go within because it is so emotionally and physically taxing to appear "normal."

By subjecting participants to multiple disease process simulations while having to perform common daily activities such as folding clothing, counting change, and even setting a table, participants gain an appreciation for what patients must experience.

It is far too common for health care professionals as well as family caregivers to get so caught up in the day-to-day tasks of providing the actual care that the human being that is receiving care is lost.

Watch the video above for the full simulation.
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.