This week, it is Dementia Action Week (17 – 24 May) which is supported by the Alzheimer’s Society. Over 1 million people live with dementia in the UK, which includes some residents living within our care communities. It is important that colleagues working within our services are well equipped to support all residents.
To provide extra training for colleagues, during April the ‘Virtual Dementia Bus’ visited our residential care communities and delivered experiential dementia training to colleagues. The Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT) is medically and scientifically proven to be the closest we can get to giving a person with a healthy brain an experience of what living with Dementia may be like. Invented 20 years ago in America by PK Beville, the VDT aims to give people the ability to understand Dementia by walking in the shoes of a person living with Dementia.
Colleagues entered the bus and were provided with various pieces of equipment to wear such as headsets, glasses, and gloves to experience a lack of, or overload to the senses. This equipment and the surroundings enabled colleagues to be transported into the sensory experience of living with dementia. They then attended a debrief session to process and share their experience.
Colleagues were fully engaged with this training, Paulini who works in The Oaks attended one of the sessions and said, “I have a better understanding of people living with dementia and I have changed some of my approaches when offering care support.”
Lucy Atkinson (Registered Manager – New Lodge) said, “I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for arranging the dementia bus for colleagues at New Lodge this week.
Each and every one of the team that were fortunate to be able to attend have had nothing but praise for the experience – I’m certain this is the best training delivered to date and has had a real and lasting impact.”
The Virtual dementia bus met all approved risk assessments to be delivered on site under the COVID-19 Public Health guidance.