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Virtual dementia tour provides insight for care staff

8 March 2023

Pictured: care staff from Glenisla and Netherha

Care home staff in the north and north-east have taken part in a virtual training exercise that offers a unique perspective into the experience of living with dementia.

The Virtual Dementia Tour is a powerful hands-on, interactive experience that simulates the challenges and frustrations that people with dementia face daily. The training is designed to help staff gain a deeper understanding of the condition from the point of view of someone living with it.
Care staff from Innis Mhor in Tain, Glenisla in Keith and Parklands & Burnbank and Netherha in Buckie - all part of the Parklands Care Homes group - are the latest to take the virtual tour which is provided by Training 2 Care.
As part of their training, staff are immersed in a simulated environment that puts them in the shoes of someone living with dementia. They wear specialised equipment, including gloves, shoe insoles, and darkened glasses, while listening to background noise through headphones. This experience impairs their ability to concentrate and respond to sensory information, mirroring the challenges faced by people living with dementia.
Lindsey Anderson, training and development manager for Parklands Care Homes said: "We are committed to providing the highest quality of care for our residents, and the virtual dementia tour is a valuable training tool that helps us achieve this goal.
"The virtual tour is incredibly valuable in improving the experiences and outcomes for our residents. Our care staff gain invaluable insights into dementia, which helps them provide even better care and support for residents living with the condition. Everyone who has taken part in previous sessions has found it a deeply moving and humbling experience.”
Lloyd Willey, Marketing Manager for Training 2 Care, said “The Virtual Dementia Tour puts people in the shoes of those they care for and allows them to experience what it might be like to be on the other side of care. The experience is extremely powerful and helps change practice. It gets staff really thinking about their role in someone else’s life. People understand why those they care for do certain things or act in a particular way.
“We hear people come out of the training and say it is the best thing they have ever done, that it should be mandatory for all people working with people with dementia, and that it is like no other training they have done. We love the fact that Parklands Care Homes group is so committed to delivering the highest level of care and recognise the importance and power of courses like the Virtual Dementia Tour to help their staff achieve that.”