Virtual Dementia Training helps staff feel what it’s like to live with Dementia

04/10/2017

Virtual Dementia Training helps staff feel what it’s like to live with Dementia Quality care for people living with dementia begins with professional caregivers who are sensitive, patient and kind. However, for those who have never experienced at first hand the physical and mental challenges facing people with dementia, the ability to understand with empathy and respond to individuals appropriately may be difficult. Virtual Dementia Training is a scientifically proven method of helping staff to understand what people with dementia experience every day and is ‘a window into their world’. 

The Western Trust organised Virtual Dementia Training for their staff to take place from the 2 October to 6 October 2017 in Waterside Hospital and Seymour Gardens Residential Home.  A total of 180 staff will attend the training over five days.

The training enables staff to experience the sensory loss that can deteriorate when living with dementia. Staff were provided with headphones, glasses, shoe insoles and gloves to limit the sensory input people with dementia experience. Staff were then placed into a darkened room whilst talking and movement continued around them. This provided participants with a valuable insight into how to approach and interact with those living with dementia. It also gave them a greater understanding of why people with dementia sometimes exhibit particular and potentially upsetting behaviours.

Dr Bob Brown, Director of Primary Care and Older People at the Western Trust said: “We were delighted to be able to offer this Virtual Dementia Training to our staff. It is a way of helping staff to experience at first hand the physical and mental challenges facing those with dementia. It helps staff understand what people with dementia experience every day and will ultimately further enhance the quality of care we provide for people living with dementia and their carers.”

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Maolíosa McHugh said: “The Council is very supportive of the work the Trust is doing in relation to providing training to its staff that will assist them in gaining a better understanding of the issues facing those with dementia. This type of training is a really positive step towards creating better awareness of dementia and giving people the tools to deal with it in their day to day work.”

Related Information

Dementia Services