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Berwickshire Housing Association hosts virtual dementia bus

Tour bus helps staff and volunteers understand what it may be like to have dementia. 

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With over 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland, right now, almost everyone knows someone with the condition.

It has been revealed that dementia is now one of the largest causes of death in the UK, along with heart disease and cancer, so it is vital that we start to focus on what dementia is like for the person rather than just the care giver.

With this in mind, Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA), in partnership with Training 2 Care (UK) Ltd, hosted a visit from the Virtual Dementia Tour Bus with staff and volunteers able to experience and understand what it may be like to suffer from the disease.

The Virtual Dementia Tour was invented 20 years ago in America by world-renowned professional P.K. Beville. The Virtual Dementia Tour is medically and scientifically proven to give people with a healthy brain an experience of what dementia might be like. By understanding dementia from the person’s point of view, practices can be changed and lives improved.

Described as ‘scary’, ‘intimidating’ and ‘confusing’ as well as, ‘enlightening’ and ‘educational’, the Virtual Dementia Tour is a ‘must have’ training for every care professional or family member that wants to understand dementia by walking in the shoes of a person with the disease.

Here’s what some BHA staff said about their virtual experience:

Having completed the virtual tour what are your thoughts?

“It was terrifying but enlightening and educational.”

“Amazing training! Everyone should do this it was a real eye-opener.”

“Fantastic tour and quite an eye-opener. Everyone should do it.”

How has your perception of dementia changed?

“I can’t believe how much it affects people in everything they do.”

“The bus made me see things from the other side – dementia affects every one of the senses.”

“It is scary but very educational. We all need to understand dementia and adjust what we do to care.”

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