Care staff ‘walking in the shoes’ of dementia sufferers

Leonard Pulham Nursing Home, Halton, 'Virtual Dementia Tour'. Marilyn Plummer, trustee. PNL-160807-121212009
Leonard Pulham Nursing Home, Halton, 'Virtual Dementia Tour'. Marilyn Plummer, trustee. PNL-160807-121212009

An innovative experience which helps care home staff to understand what it is like to live with dementia came to town this week.

Staff at the Leonard Pulham Nursing Home in Tring Road took part in the Virtual Dementia Tour, an immersive experience which transported them into the world of someone with the condition.

On the tour, carers and often relatives of sufferers are required to take part in a series of tasks, but in an environment which disorientates, confuses and physically restricts like dementia.

Ellie Low, 19, who works as a health care assistant at Leonard Pulham, said: “It was so good, and I’m so pleased that I did it. I really didn’t know what to expect, but it has really opened my eyes.

“It has made me much more aware of what dementia sufferers go through, it’s made me realise that everyone is different and you have to approach people differently, and from now on I will always remember that the condition is non-stop.

“We also learned that one in three people will be affected by dementai, and I think it’s important to remember that they are not only people with dementia, the person is still inside.”

Angie Newland, of Experience Training which coordinated the event, said: “The tour gives someone the opportunity to walk in the shoes of someone with dementia, it’s not classroom training.

“I come from a care background myself and if I known about this it would have been brilliant because you don’t really know why sufferers behave the way they do, so sometimes don’t deal with things like challenging behaviour properly. It’s great that Leonard Pulham are providing this, it’s not just about providing basic training for carers, it’s about going above and beyond for service users and that is what they are doing.”