Virtual Dementia Tour Bus pays visit to Berwickshire Housing Association

Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) 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.

According to figures issued by Alzheimer Scotland, more than 90,000 people live with dementia in Scotland. It has been revealed that dementia is now one of the largest causes of death in the UK along with heart disease and cancer.

The Virtual Dementia Tour was invented 20 years ago in America by world-renowned professional P.K. Beville. The 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.

BHA hosted the Tour Bus in partnership with Training 2 Care (UK) Ltd.

Asked about their thoughts about their virtual experience, BHA staff said: “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”.

On their new perception of dementia, they added: “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”.

Knowing what they know now, the staff said the will now do things differently. They said: “I will be more patient and take time to listen”; “I will slow down and be more aware of the difficulties sufferers face”; “This has made me much more aware of the different aspects of dementia. We need to listen more to sufferers”.

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