Staff experience ‘Virtual Dementia Tour Bus’ as part of Dementia Action Week

24th May 2022

The South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust welcomed the ‘Virtual Dementia Tour Bus’ to allow staff to participate in training to gain an insight into what it is like for those who are living with dementia.

During the training, participants undertook a series of challenges that altered and overloaded their senses which demonstrated an understanding of what it is like for someone living with dementia.  This training also outlined how difficult and deflating it can be to undertake some simple daily tasks while facing sensory overload. Participants found the training very overwhelming and appreciated the difficulties faced.

The training is being offered to Trust staff and carers as well as those who have connections with people living with Dementia, it allows participants to improve upon their knowledge and understanding and how this can be used in a positive way to improve the care they provide.

Chief Executive, Roisin Coulter was delighted to be able to join the training day at Ards Community Hospital to support all of the good work the teams are doing across the Trust, in promoting the greater understanding and awareness of the challenges in which people with dementia throughout the communities experience.

With the help from the Dementia Experience organiser; John Sanders, Roisin was able to partake in the Virtual Experience and said “This is one of the most powerful things I have experienced, and I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to experience this training.  It is important to undertake this virtual tour in real life as well as the classroom setting, to fully understand exactly what is like for someone living with dementia. I will do everything I can do to fully support the teams going forward.”

A participant of the training was Senior Nursing Assistant, Mark Dickson who said, “I haven’t experienced anything like this. To see how someone with dementia sees the world, the training provided was amazing, a real eye opener.  This has provided me with a better insight into how I can manage patients with dementia better.  Mark went on to say, “I recommend the training for everyone, increasing awareness is key in helping those with dementia now and in the future.”

The ‘Virtual Dementia Tour Bus’ will be available for carers and staff on 16th & 17th June and 20th to 24th June. There are two training sessions daily 9.30am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 5pm, booking is available by contacting the Central Booking Office on (028) 4483 8386, quoting your H&C number and contactable email address (no group bookings).