Ideal Carehomes is taking staff training to the limits by offering employees the opportunity to have a virtual experience of dementia.
The company, which operates 15 residential and dementia care homes across the North and Midlands, has enlisted the help of the Virtual Dementia Tour bus to give staff this unique insight into their residents’ condition.
The Virtual Dementia Tour bus is run by Experience Training and gives participants the opportunity to take a walk into the world of dementia – by donning gloves, dark glasses and earphones, senses are greatly reduced which is instantly disorientating.
Many find the sensation distressing, allowing them to empathise with residents’ reactions to different scenarios. Along with being in a strange darkened room, not being able to recognise the object in front of you, and with normal everyday noises feeling much louder, the whole experience can feel frightening and isolating.
Glenn Knight, managing director of Experience Training, said: “Ideal Carehomes and its staff have shown a willingness to improve already high standards for their residents and families alike. Understanding what a resident with dementia experiences improves practice whilst building empathy. Experience Training is proud to be working with an organisation which shares our core values and foresight to improve the lives of those who live with dementia”.
Ideal Carehomes is sending the Virtual Dementia Tour bus to each of its 15 homes with every member of staff being given the opportunity to take part in the experience. The homes are also opening their doors to the local community, inviting relatives and friends to take part wherever possible.
Regional director of Ideal Carehomes, Amanda Richardson, said: “I just can’t stress enough how effective this training is and how much it will benefit our staff and residents. For our staff to be able to experience dementia, even just for a few minutes, is incredible and will really help them to reassess their actions when caring. This Virtual Dementia Tour is much more powerful than classroom training and is an experience which they will never forget.”