Mole Valley District Council’s (MVDC’s) Mole Valley Life team has hosted a Virtual Dementia training bus in Leatherhead, giving staff a new and immersive insight into how they might better understand residents who suffer from the diverse symptoms described as Dementia.
The Mole Valley Life team are looking specifically at what having Dementia is like for the person themselves, as the reality of the future is many of Mole Valley District Council’s customers will be living with Dementia, in line with national trends.
The ‘Virtual Dementia Experience’ took place inside a bespoke bus that has been medically and scientifically assessed to be the closest experience that a person with a healthy brain can get of what Dementia might be like.
Councillor David Hawksworth CBE, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing said, “This innovative training experience is a step towards widening the understanding of the real challenges that people who have Dementia face minute by minute. The training is not comfortable, it’s a disturbing experience, but can influence how we interact with people with Dementia from a better understanding of what they are going through.
“The bus experience allows you to ‘walk in the shoes’ of someone with Dementia and so will help MVDC consider how we can positively adapt our practices to better support them.
“Understanding Dementia from the person’s point of view, can contribute to developing practices to ameliorate issues and improve lives in the future where possible.”
Executive Head of Service for Community, Rachel O’Reilly said, “The training is intense. We will be sharing our experiences with colleagues and considering how we can improve the customer experience for those with or without Dementia.”
Mid Surrey Dementia Care Trust run the Conservatory Club at Mole Valley Life’s Leatherhead Social Centre, The Fairfield Centre.
The club is a facilitated, self-help club providing a stimulating environment for those with memory difficulties and respite for those who care for them. It provides relief to carers whilst helping people with memory difficulties to retain their communication and social skills. Other services such as chiropody and hairdressing are available at the centre for an extra charge.
For more information contact the Club Manager on 07913 707704 or email them.
There are around 850,000 people with Dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025*.
*Source Alzheimer’s Society