Around 47% of Seasons employees have completed the interactive course using virtual reality technology to provide an insight into what dementia residents may be experiencing on a daily basis.
For the 447,115 Australians living with dementia, many of their symptoms are more than meets the eye – that is unless you can experience what it’s like for yourself.
That’s where the virtual reality technology comes in. The three-hour hands-on workshop is based around EDIE, which stands for Educational Dementia Immersive Experience. More than an acronym, Edie is also the virtual person you become when you slip on the virtual reality headsets and start experiencing life through his eyes.
Behind the headsets, you soon start to realise that dementia is much more than just trouble with short-term memory.
As Edie, each participant has to navigate their way through what would seemingly be a simple task, except you are experiencing it as a person with dementia.
After each participant has navigated the virtual world, it’s time to come up with a dementia plan to help Edie live well with dementia.
By living the experience, participants soon realised that making small changes can make a big difference for a person living with dementia. Helpful changes for the virtual scenario included:
Course facilitator Helen says that the virtual reality experience paired with the information she provides in the course makes dementia a real experience, rather than just a diagnosis or a label.
“This diagnosis (dementia) isn’t just a word, it’s an experience and this training gives an insight into its impact,” says Helen.
Seasons employees who have completed the training reported that their dementia knowledge has increased since taking part in the course, with overall knowledge increasing by 73%.
The opportunity to participate in the small group will continue to be offered to Seasons employees to keep improving their person-centred support for people living with dementia in their communities.