Care assistants and supervisors from two home care franchises in South West England underwent specialist training last month to experience the difficulties of living with dementia, first hand.
Bluebird Care Bristol and Bluebird Care Bath & North East Somerset teamed up with Training 2 Care to offer the Dementia Tour, which has been commissioned by 18 NHS Trusts, care homes, police and ambulance services, universities and councils.
As part of the training, participants wear thick mittens to impair their ability to perform tasks or hold items, wear headphones and glasses with altered lenses to impair their vision and make them feel disorientated and operate in dark rooms with coloured lights to add to the disorientation and overall frustration.
Participants also wear spiked insoles in their shoes to cause the onset of pins and needles.
The experience allowed Supervisors and Care Assistants at Bluebird Care Bristol and Bristol & North East Somerset the opportunity to experience the difficulties and understand the frustrations that their customers live with.
Michaela Bela, a care assistant at Bluebird Care Bristol, explained: “As we know, dementia is developing fast but unfortunately our understanding of it isn’t keeping pace. The Training 2 Care course gives a different insight into it. It was fascinating to be in the shoes of a person that is experiencing dementia on a daily basis. All the information I have learned on the course I can now put into practice, when making care visits to customers.”
Michael Peachey, associate director for Experience Training at Training 2 Care, said: “At Training 2 Care, we believe that training should lead to positive changes in practice. Experimental training such as the Virtual Dementia Tour, Dementia Interpreter course, and Autism Reality Experience, all help to achieve this.
“Delegates never forget these sessions. The lessons they learn then stay with them forever, and lead to people receiving better care and support. We are incredibly proud to be working in partnership with Bluebird Care Bristol to achieve our joint aim of making transformational changes to the way care is provided.”