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UK’s Only Virtual Dementia Tour Arrives at Abbotswood Court in Romsey

Abbotswood Court Care Home in Romsey has welcomed the Mobile Virtual Dementia Tour, an innovative dementia training programme which gives people the opportunity to experience what it is like living with dementia.

Described as a dementia Tardis, staff from Abbotswood Court, the families of residents and local carers were given the opportunity to take part in the pioneering mobile simulation.

Entering a strange environment, participants were required to wear clothing and items which replicates the sensory symptoms of dementia. This included uncomfortable insoles that mimic the pins and needles of peripheral neuropathy, gloves that blunt sensation to fingers, goggles that block peripheral vision, and headphones playing normal sounds that are too loud and too uniform to fully differentiate.

Improving understanding of the illness, the Virtual Dementia Tour is medically and scientifically proven to provide the closest simulation a healthy brain can experience of what dementia might be like.  Helping people to understand dementia from the person’s point of view the tour aims to change practice, reduce issues and improve lives. It has already been adopted by care providers, NHS trusts, Councils, Fire Service, Police and Prisons across the UK.

At present, dementia related illnesses kill more people in the UK than Heart Disease or Cancer making it the largest cause of death in the UK. Abbotswood Court engaged the virtual dementia tour with the aim of helping care professionals and local carers to better understand dementia, improve practice and enhance care.

Over the last three years, Abbotswood has introduced a range of dementia initiatives, offering pioneering care to people in Romsey and the surrounding Hampshire community. It is home to a specialist Dementia Care team and Namaste Care Programme, which uses sensory stimulation and meaningful activities to improve the quality of life for those living with dementia.

Glenn Knight, Managing Director of Training 2 Care which provides the Virtual Dementia Tour in the UK, said:

“We were pleased to visit Abbotswood Court and bring the first dementia tour of its kind in the UK to the care home. Giving carers, professionals, and family an insight into the world of people with dementia we hope to revolutionise care.’’

Gemma Rideout Bowden, General Manager at Abbotswood Court said:

“The virtual dementia tour was a real eye-opener for our team and the local carers who took part. It has given us a better understanding of how disorientating and distressing dementia can be for sufferers, something which we can now use to improve the specialist dementia services we offer to locals and residents.’’

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