Virtual Dementia Tour – Experiencing what living with Dementia is Really Like
Walking in the shoes of another person creates greater understanding, insight, compassion and empathy. This is certainly true of the virtual dementia tour training by training2care.
Anne Cooper, Director of Operations, joined staff at Foxburrow Grange recently in this innovative course helping them to understand what it is like for people living with dementia.
Staff senses were exposed to a battery of unpleasant experiences including noise, visual disturbance and painful feet - with glasses that distort vision, earphones that emit constant noise and insoles that made walking painful.
Everyone reacted with a range of response borne from fear, confusion, and inability to understand or communicate.
Anne became quite resistive when someone tried to prise an object that she was holding from her. No doubt she would be labelled challenging! She was frightened of making a mistake and looking stupid and kept herself occupied by tidying up when what she was actually doing was making a mess! Other people collected items, looking terrified.
Anne’s personal experience was that her heart was racing and she felt physically unwell. Everyone attending the session was deeply affected by the experience even though it was transient. For someone living with dementia this is a daily experience and it is so important that people step into their world adapting their responses and creating environments that reduce noise and confusion.
Anne Cooper, Director of Operations at Outlook Care said: ‘After the course I spoke to Denis* who has dementia and who is acutely aware of his increasing confusion. I asked him what a good day looks like for him. His answer was so simple. He just wanted get things right. We can make such a difference by supporting people to 'get it right' and give praise and encouragement to feel good about themselves. The course has improved my understanding and I hope practice.‘