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Posted in T2C News  27/07/2021
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Dementia Champions at MTW NHS Trust undertake VDT

Dementia Champions at MTW NHS Trust undertake VDT

Recently, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) delegated their Dementia Champions to undertake the Virtual Dementia Experience from Training2Care. This specialist dementia simulation helped to give them a better understanding of the daily challenges faced by those living with the condition. This was undertaken with a view to identifying how small changes in the trust’s processes and procedures could improve the environment for, and the experiences of, those in the trust’s hospitals.

Based on a proven model, the Virtual Dementia Tour provides the closest possible recreation of a life living with dementia. Each of the Dementia Champions from MTW were put through a carefully constructed range of structured tasks which allow them to, for a short while, walk in the shoes of someone suffering from dementia. Participants of the Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT) are prepped with a range of accessories, including headphones, gloves and adaptive glasses, to emulate a number of the sensory challenges faced by dementia sufferers. Each session is followed by a debrief to get a better understanding of how the experience can help them in their role at the trust.

There are more than 850,000 people in the UK currently living with dementia and it is the leading cause of death in the UK. With this in mine, it has never been more important for hospital and care staff to have the experience and training to provide the best possible care for those suffering with the condition. The VDT provides a helpful insight into how care can be provided in a way that reduces anxiety and distress.

When asked for her feedback on the experience, Dementia Nurse Facilitator Rudi Silson told us “The simulation training provided our dementia champions with the experience of what living with dementia might be like and gave them an understanding of why patients with dementia might behave or respond in a certain way.” “It helped staff understand what they can do to help dementia patients admitted to our hospitals to maintain their independence by adapting behaviours and ways of communicating, and reduce the stress a hospital visit can cause.”
When asked about her experience, Vicky Feria the Junior Sister at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said, “It was a humbling experience and I found the training really helped me understand dementia behaviour. I am now really aware of the small things we can all do to help improve the care we provide to our patients suffering with dementia to reduce their fear and anxiety.”

Read more about the Training 2 Care Virtual Dementia Tour and book online for your trust or organisation. If you have any further questions about the VDT or about any of our care training then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can also read the original press article from the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust.