Staff at Walberton Place experience a Dementia Bus Training Day

Staff at Walberton Place Care Home in Arundel, West Sussex, received an eye-opening experience during a Dementia Bus training day led by Michael from Training 2 Care. The training session was part of Country Court’s dementia care training program and was designed to provide staff with the skills to deliver dementia care through experiencing symptoms of dementia first-hand.

“The Virtual Dementia Tour is medically and scientifically proven to be the closest that we can give a person with a healthy brain an experience of what dementia might be like. By understanding dementia from the person’s point of view, we can change practice, reduce issues, and improve their lives” – (Training 2 Care)

The experience

The experience began with clear instructions given by trainer Michael, who asked the staff to wear specific sensory-altering items to mimic symptoms that those living with dementia may experience; this included placing spiked insoles in their shoes and wearing thick gloves on their hands to mimic the symptoms of neuropathy.

“Peripheral neuropathy develops when nerves in the body’s extremities, such as the hands, feet, and arms, are damaged. The symptoms depend on which nerves are affected” – (NHS, 2022)

He then instructed staff to wear adapted glasses, causing a narrowing visual impairment, and Over-Ear Headphones that played loud noises simulating the increased sensitivity to noise that may affect those living with dementia.

Inside the bus

Michael then led the staff inside the bus.

"It was dark inside the bus, and there were flashing lights. Michael approached me, but with all the noise coming from the headphones, I couldn't understand what he was saying, but I did hear the phrase, find something useful to do. I then started walking around." Commented one Carer.

During the session, Michael observed that most staff showed signs of confusion and frustra-tion. Some even appeared to be standing still, unsure of what to do.

Following the session, Michael provided a detailed debrief to the staff and elaborated on their recent experience. The debriefing also allowed the staff to share their encounters while on the bus with a view to improving their skills when caring for residents living with dementia.

My experience on the dementia bus was both eye-opening and emotional

Senior Customer Relations Manager Cheryl Tyson found the session quite emotional, commenting.

“My experience on the dementia bus was both eye-opening and emotional. Spending that brief amount of time in the shoes of someone living with dementia did change my way of thinking. I felt extremely uncomfortable, scared, and vulnerable whilst on the bus, something that our residents must be feeling all day every day. But the insight gained into Dementia through hands-on activities was invaluable and will help me when spending time with our residents.”

Cheryl Tyson shares her experience

Contact Us

To learn more about Walberton Place Care Home in Arundel or to arrange a tour, please get in touch with Cheryl Tyson, Senior Customer Relations Manager, at cheryl.tyson@countrycourtcare.com or call 07725 799 213. She is happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.

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