Virtual Dementia Experience Workshop

Posted by McKenzie | 19 Feb 2020

Last week, some of our support staff had the opportunity to be involved in a Virtual Dementia Experience (VDE) workshop facilitated by Dementia Australia.

The VDE session took them through an interactive simulation of what a person living with dementia experiences in an everyday environment. The aim of this multisensory experience is to increase empathy by enabling participants to understand the impact of different environmental elements. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their own approach to dementia support and to think about ways in which to further provide supportive environments for our residents.

We asked staff about their experience and what they took from the session:

“Experiencing what it is like to have dementia was life changing. I am going to visit my family back in South Africa shortly and feel so much more confident and educated on how to support my Mum on her journey. 

Having the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a person with dementia and a carer at meal times is an emotional, physical and confronting experience. Thank-you Dementia Australia for this opportunity to learn and grow.” Samm

“It was amazing to experience a tiny glimpse into the life of a person living with dementia. Being totally immersed in their world, hearing and seeing what they hear and see, quickly generated feelings of confusion and even a degree of panic. I feel such an increased sense of empathy.” Jen

“The VR experience for me was quite confronting, but equally so powerful. It really opened up my eyes (and heart) to be able to walk in the shoes of someone living with dementia.

I didn’t realise just how incredibly difficult it can be for an individual and how much of an impact it creates if they are not in the correct environment and have the appropriate understanding and support from their immediate family / carers.” Nilu

Thank you to Dementia Australia for providing us with such an insightful opportunity, we look forward to being able to share this knowledge and experience with our McKenzie teams.