The Orchard Centre one of ten specialist dementia services in Surrey to take part in Care UK’s ground breaking training which enables carers to “experience” dementia was shortlisted for a top award.
The innovative training won through to the final of the 2011 Nursing Times Awards after the overwhelming success of its Surrey trial.
Along with around 500 staff from the homes and a day centre, our team underwent intensive experiential training including limiting participants’ mobility and their ability to see and hear to illustrate how people with dementia experience life.
Care UK’s service design manager, Maizie Mears-Owen, created the programme, which forms part of Care UK’s extensive, on-going dementia training. She said: “Staff have eureka moments during the training and it is wonderful to see. By experiencing being moved in hoists and taken to the toilet, being called ‘dear’ and ‘love’, they can see what it is like to lose any sense of control.
“By having constant white noise in their ears and distorted vision, they can appreciate how they could have mistaken a trick of the light for a hallucination in residents. This has enabled them to develop active empathy. Trainees, including catering, domestic and office staff, say they leave the course with a much better idea of how the world can appear frustrating and confusing to someone who has dementia and they quickly realise how they can tailor their approach to make their care more sensitive.”