Published in the September 22, 2017 edition

FLANKING Shamika Johnson-Adams of The Residence at Melrose Station are Brigid Alverson and Mayor Rob Dolan.

MELROSE — Leading up to a very important event Sunday, Mayor Robert Dolan and other City Hall staff participated in “A Walk in Their Shoes,” a virtual dementia simulation, provided by The Residence at Melrose Station.

Presented at City Hall, the program was of interest to the mayor and staff to increase their understanding of the disease, as Alzheimer’s’ is now the sixth-leading cause of death in America.

The simulation, facilitated by Shamika Johnson-Adams, Reflections Memory Care director at The Residence at Melrose Station, provided City Hall staff with visual, aural, olfactory and tactile stimuli that mimic the effects of Alzheimer’s’ allowing them to experience the world as one with the disease does.

Brigid Alverson, the mayor’s executive assistant, shared that during the experience she realized how “even little tasks were just more difficult” so she could better relate to the frustration that can grow in those compromised by the disease.

The simulation was developed by The Residence at Melrose Station’s parent company, LCB Senior Living, LLC., in collaboration with Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

Sunday, September 24, is Boston’s annual Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, part of the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

It is still not too late to register to walk or to sponsor a walker.