Starbeck care home's alternative approach to dementia training

A care home in Starbeck has embraced an alternative approach to dementia training, designed to give staff a more immersive experience of what it is like to live with the condition.

Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 3:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 3:58 pm
The interactive 'Virtual Dementia Tour' was provided by Training 2 Care Ltd

In addition to its usual training methods, Belmont House hosted a day of virtual dementia training - where staff were given special glasses, gloves, insoles and headphones to wear, which were designed to alter their senses and perceptions to simulate the disorientating effects that neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease can have.

Staff were then given a list of instructions and basic tasks to complete, to give an insight into the challenges faced by people living with dementia each day.

Belmont House home manager, Claire Cowgill, said: “Our staff have a lot of knowledge about dementia through the training we provide and their experiences of working with people who have some form of dementia every day but we thought that it would be a valuable experience for them to be able to experience first hand the sort of challenges they face.

“Feedback from the staff was that they found the training to be very powerful experience and it’s given them a new perspective of what it would be like to experience daily life for our residents living with dementia.”

Will Sean Bean star as Knaresborough legend in Blind Jack the movie?Steve Daniel, who took part in the training, said: “It was a very eye-opening experience. I would recommend the training to anyone who works in the care sector.

"It’s important for anyone who cares for someone with dementia to show them empathy and try their best to understand the condition and how it affects the person. The virtual dementia tour gives you a new perspective on what a person with dementia must go through in their everyday lives.”

The interactive 'Virtual Dementia Tour' was provided by Training 2 Care Ltd

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are an estimated 820,000 people in the UK living with dementia, and only 44 per cent of people with dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive a diagnosis.

While dementia mainly affects older people, there are an estimated 15,000 people in the UK under the age of 65 who live with the condition.

Belmont House care home, operated by the Countrywide Care Group, provides nursing and residential care for the elderly, and specialist residential and nursing care for people living with dementia.