A cacophony rattles in your head. Your feet hurt, your hands feel hot and useless, and your vision is blurry. It’s nearly impossible to remember the daily tasks you wanted to accomplish, let alone perform them.
Don’t worry, in less than eight minutes your virtual experience of dementia will be over. But your life will be transformed. The Virtual Dementia Tour will give you an understanding and empathy for what life is like for those living with the effects of dementia.
That’s why Tania Dusevic, manager at The Waterford, and other Bria leaders decided to invest in helping all staff become aware of the inner world of residents experiencing dementia. “My ultimate goal is that this would change the way our staff care for residents,” says Tania. “That each of us would have more understanding and patience.”
All The Waterford staff were giving the opportunity to spend eight minutes in the room trying to accomplish simple tasks while impeded by a set of customized limitations. Afterwards, they were invited to debrief the experience and share their impressions.
Lara Fares, Director of Care at The Waterford was a facilitator of the experience reported that staff expressed a wide variety of emotions as they finished their eight-minute immersion. “There were some tears and some confusion. A lot of people come out saying, ‘I had no idea that’s what it’s like!'”
“This kind of experience is essential in helping us serve our residents well,” comments Bria Director, Craig Rumsby. “In the coming months, staff all the Bria sites will participate in this training. We will be extending the opportunity to residents and their family members are well.”
Watch a short video of a debrief session at The Waterford to get a better idea of how the Virtual Dementia Tour is impacting staff.