Western Trust enabling Derry carers experience dementia first-hand

The Western Trust are offering virtual dementia training to carers in September, which enables them to experience dementia first-hand.

World Alzheimer’s month is an annual international event that is held every September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds Alzheimers and dementia. It has been running since 2012, with September 21st celebrated annually as World Alzheimer’s Day. The number of people in the north with dementia is steadily increasing. In recent years it has been estimated that approximately 20,000 people are living with dementia in the north, with this figure set to increase to 60,000 by the year 2051. There was 2,835 people diagnosed with dementia in the Western Trust in March 2020. In January 2016 there were 2,282, this is a 24% increase in 4 years. It is a priority that carers of those with dementia get the appropriate information, support and training.

Quality care for those people with dementia begins with carers who are sensitive, patient and kind. But how can people be empathic when they have never experienced, first hand, the physical and mental challenges facing those with dementia? Now, there is a way.

Virtual Dementia Training is a scientifically proven method of helping carers to understand what people with dementia experience every day and is ‘your window into their world’. The training will allow carers/family members experience the sensory loss that can deteriorate when living with dementia. It provides them with a valuable insight into how to communicate and interact with their loved ones living with dementia. It also gives them a greater understanding of why their loved ones sometimes exhibit particular and potentially upsetting behaviours.

The Western Trust are offering virtual dementia training to carers this September in Derry.

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To support World Alzheimers month, the Western Trust in partnership with the DEEDs project, Omagh Forum and the Oak Healthy Living centre, Lisnaskea are organising virtual dementia training for carers. These are taking place in Derry, Strabane, Omagh and Lisnaskea from September 20-23. A total of 144 carers across the Western Trust geography will be able attend the training over the four days at a location nearest to where they live.

John Paul McGinley, Assistant Director for Primary Care and Older People’s Services at the Western Trust said: “In the Western Trust we are determined to raise awareness and understanding about dementia and to support carers in their caring role. We are delighted to be able to offer this virtual dementia training to carers. It is a way of helping them to experience at first hand the physical and mental challenges facing their loved ones with dementia every day.”