‘Experience’ dementia at Hastings Court

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A care home in Hastings is offering relatives of its residents the chance to experience what it’s like to live with dementia.

Hastings Court, on The Ridge, is hosting the Virtual Dementia Tour bus on Monday (August 15).

It uses gloves, glasses and insoles to give visitors a feel for the challenges people with dementia face.

The home is working towards becoming the first in East Sussex to be a Butterfly home, a nationally recognised mark of excellence in dementia care.

Katie Brewster, general manager, said: “Our team here are going through a great deal of training to make sure we offer the highest standard of dementia care but this will give them a much greater understanding of how the condition affects people’s movement, behaviour and the sense of frustration they can experience.”

The bus is set up to look like a home and people get the chance to try everyday tasks with their senses impaired.

Their sense of touch will be restricted by specially designed gloves and insoles to echo the loss of feeling people with dementia experience as the nerve endings die in their feet and hands.

Glasses recreate the loss of peripheral vision that happens with age, and sounds in the bus are played at the louder volume that many people with dementia experience.

Figures from the Alzheimer’s Society suggest there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and that could rise to more than one million by 2025.

Dementia describes a set of symptoms that are caused by certain diseases or conditions, the most well-known being Alzheimer’s disease.

People can experience memory problems, difficulties with thinking and problem-solving, visual impairment and personality changes. A progressive condition, symptoms get worse over time.

Katie added: “We hope lots of our residents’ families will come along. It’s important to give them the chance to experience it as the more people understand about dementia, the better we can all support those who have it.”

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