Bristol care home uses dementia technology to train staff

Bristol City Council is funding the training of more than 30 staff using virtual technology which replicates the experience of living with dementia.

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

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

Rahma Said, care assistant at Redfield Lodge, the only local authority home for people living with dementia in Bristol, said the aim of the training is to show staff the perspective of a person living with dementia and the simple changes that can be made to help improve their lives.

‘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.’

Cllr Helen Holland, cabinet member for adult social care, said the technology will help care providers create the right environment for patients.

‘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-centred care with the individual at the heart of decision making.”

‘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.’

A council spokesman said the training will be rolled out to all managers and staff at the care home.

Photo Credit – Bristol City Council

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