Virtual reality technology helps give greater understanding of dementia

Dementia carers will be able to see the world through the eyes of a person living with dementia, thanks to revolutionary new virtual reality technology being rolled out in training courses in NSW.

Until you’ve experienced it, no-one really know what it is like to live with dementia. However, what we can continue to improve is the level of carer understanding and empathy they have while looking after people with the condition.

(For an informative article on an insider’s perspective of living with dementia, click here.)

This new technology will be able to do just that, using Samsung Virtual Reality Gear and offering a high quality virtual reality experience enabling participants to see the world a dementia sufferer lives.

With input from expert facilitators, the training aims to inspire change and encourage people with dementia to feel more  supported, engaged and empowered.

The training program for dementia care Sydney workers, is called Enabling EDIE – Educational Dementia Immersive Experience – and is a series of three-hour workshops for professionals who work with people impacted by dementia, incorporating the recently-launched virtual reality smartphone app, EDIE.

The program, which is run by Alzheimer’s Australia, is heading to NSW from its original home in Victoria, where it has been received positively by both professional and family carers.

“We have long been excited about the potential technology has for enhancing the well-being of people living with dementia,' said Alzheimer's Australia (Victoria) Projects Manager Client Services, Sophie Hennessy.

“In recent years, we have invested heavily in developing technologies that will impact positively on dementia care. With EDIE, we wanted to develop something accessible and portable, unrestricted by location, so as many people as possible would benefit."

Alzheimer’s Australia (NSW) General Manager, Services, Policy and Research Susan McCarthy says: “We know increased levels of understanding and empathy can result from having actually experienced something, rather than simply being told about it.”

“We saw EDIE as a great opportunity to enhance dementia education by incorporating the latest technology to create an increased awareness of what the person might be going through.

“This will equip participants with a fresh perspective on the communication techniques, environmental adjustments and support strategies that can impact most positively on people living with dementia.

“Because EDIE is focused on the experiences of one person, the technology encourages participants to see each person with dementia as an individual with distinct wants and needs. That is vital for encouraging a more person-centred approach to dementia care.”

To attend a workshop or course using the EDIE virtual technology with Alzheimer’s Australia, click here.

Are you seeking more information on dementia?

How to communicate effectively with a person with dementia 

What are the 10 early signs of dementia? 

Four things you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease 

The loneliness of dementia 

How can Oxley Home Care Help?

Oxley Home Care offers tailored, early intervention and health and lifestyle coaching to people with dementia. Each person assisted is treated as an individual with their own history, memories and likes/dislikes taken into consideration, with services offered from early onset dementia through to palliative dementia care.

Oxley Home Care’s support services for people with dementia and their carers include:

  • Personal care, showering, dressing, grooming, dental hygiene and denture care
  • Activities to assist and minimise behaviours
  • Preparing and serving of meals
  • Daily living support, including domestic assistance
  • Transport to social events
  • Shopping and errands
  • Companionship and leisure activities

In addition, Oxley Home Care’s respite support allows carers to rest and re-energise with peace of mind, on a regular basis.

To find out more about getting the right support and care for you or a family member with dementia, contact Oxley Home Care on 1300 993 591

Gilian Douglass

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