Cedars Care Group Staff Take a Virtual Dementia Tour
220,000 loved ones develop dementia annually. To us that’s a rather large number of people, but to those affected as well as their wives, husbands, children and friends, that’s a life disappearing slowly.
Dementia is a progressive brain disorder, and one of the hardest things for relatives is the inability to understand what their loved one is going through, and to ‘reach them’ mentally and emotionally. We see the symptoms and have some idea, but can we really grasp the sheer confusion, disorientation and strangeness that can leave our loved one feeling so frustrated and distressed?
At Cedars Care Group, the support we provide is based on getting to know our residents and understanding their changing needs. Part of achieving this involves making sure that our staff are always abreast of the latest developments in care. In particular, they regularly attend specialist dementia courses. But this week, staff from our Southport care homes, Cedar Grange and Woodlands Manor, came together to take part in a very special voyage into the human mind affected by dementia.
The training was provided by Training 2 Care through the Xperience Training mobile dementia simulator, which came to Woodlands Manor for us. Staff who took part felt it was the perfect opportunity to experience the symptoms that some of the residents they are caring for are living with on a day to day basis. The results were very affective, with staff members saying they felt ‘challenged and vulnerable’ and even scared during the simulation.
One member of staff said she understood now what might prompt behaviour like the desire to take off one’s shoes and walk barefoot -something she had witnessed often with residents she cares for. Another carer remarked that he’d gained a greater appreciation now for the importance of mealtimes for residents and those small details like coloured dishes, which help people who can’t see properly. The general consensus among all staff who took part was the need for more patience and sensitivity. Coming away from the session with a greater understanding of dementia and empathy for residents, they felt confident that with the knowledge they gained, they will be able to recognise behaviours that might be due to symptoms of the disease.
Our Group Operations Director, Lyndsey Floyd praised the Virtual Dementia Tour, and said, “Having this kind of session available to our whole team is an invaluable way of enhancing their ability to deliver the first class care and service that Cedars Care Group pride themselves on.”