Redfield dementia care home pioneers virtual reality staff training

February 02 2020
Redfield dementia care home pioneers virtual reality staff training

STAFF at a care home in Redfield are being trained to use virtual technology which replicates the experience of living with dementia.

Redfield Lodge, in Avonvale Road, is one of just a handful of care homes in Bristol to use the dementia simulator, which gives staff an insight into what life is like for people who have the degenerative condition.

Bristol City Council is funding the training of more than 30 staff there which will show them the perspective of a person living with dementia and the simple changes that can be made to help improve their lives.

Training involves wearing a visual simulator headset, headphones and multiple-layered gloves, whilst being instructed to undertake daily activities.

Redfield Lodge is the only local authority home in Bristol for people living with dementia.

Councillor Helen Holland, cabinet member for Adult Social Care said: “With an ageing population there is always going to be a need for a skilled and compassionate care workforce. This forward-thinking technology will help staff understand the condition from a patient’s point of view, to help us deliver person-centered care with the individual at the heart of decision making.”

She added: “Dementia and the way we provide care is changing. People are staying in their homes longer with support from our adult social care transformation programme - Better Lives. By the time residential care is required, dependency needs are usually much higher. The more we can learn about dementia, the better equipped we are to provide the right environment and care that meets the patient’s needs.”

Rahma Said, care assistant at Redfield Lodge, said: “The training provided a real insight into dementia and just how overwhelming everyday tasks must feel.

By understanding the issues faced by a person with dementia, we can start to make simple changes to the way we care to help reduce their frustration and anxiety.”

The training will be rolled out to all managers and staff at the care home.

Dementia is a syndrome associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. It can affect an individual’s memory, speech, as well as, the way they think, feel and behave.

The Alzheimer’s Society (2014) reports there are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today. Of these, approximately, 42,000 are people with young onset dementia, which affects people under the age of 65. It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the UK by 2021 will rise to over one million.

If you’re concerned about your own or someone else’s health, visit Bristol City Council’s website for further advice and support.