STAFF at Omega Oak Barn Care Home in Beadlam undertook some unique training recently, which saw them take a “virtual dementia experience” on a bus.

The training was designed to show carers elements of how people with dementia experience the world.

Staff were given insoles covered in small spikes to place in their shoes, glasses to replicate tunnel vision and gardening gloves to wear.

Ear phones playing loud noises were turned on and the staff were guided into the bus where there were flashing lights. Staff were then asked to do simple tasks such as stacking plates.

Chris Buntin, registered manager, said: “The training has given staff a greater understanding of what it is like to live with dementia and has also given us some great ideas of things we can do to help and improve the lives of our residents.”

Senior carer Mel Egan added that the experience on the bus was quite overwhelming and disorientating.

“It is has given me a greater understanding of why residents with dementia act in a certain way,” she added. “Having experienced what dementia feels like will really help me in supporting our residents,” she said.