Training Experience Offering Insight into Dementia

Family-owned funeral directors G. Wathall and Son Ltd, based in Derby and Ashbourne, are inviting members of the public and staff from care providers to take part in a training experience that gives a unique insight into the challenges facing people living with dementia.

Wathalls have teamed up with health and social care training specialists Training 2 CARE UK to bring the training to the city. Three training sessions will take place on Wednesday July 27 at G. Wathall and Son on Macklin Street, Derby. Participants will be led through Training 2 CARE's The Virtual Dementia Tour® - a medically and scientifically-proven method created by USA dementia specialist PK Beville.

The tour is designed to help people identify with and understand the needs and behaviours of those living with dementia. The experience will take place in a mobile, purpose-built trailer where participants wear specialist equipment to hinder their primary senses of sight, hearing and touch to put them in the shoes of someone living with dementia. They will then be led into a mock scenario and set a number of tasks that they would encounter daily.

After the experience they will be given the opportunity to reflect as a group on how the session affected them and identify ways to improve the lives of people they are supporting who are living with the condition. The session will allow participants to experience the physical and mental challenges facing those with dementia.

G. Wathall and Sons Managing Director Helen Wathall said: “Our training experience last year was completely sold out and we anticipate the same attendance this year. "The sessions are again available to care providers as well as members of the public who want a better understanding of the challenges that face people with dementia 24 hours a day, seven days a week and I am sure that care and end of life professionals would find this an excellent training tool for their own work.”“Our staff regularly come into contact with people with dementia at a time of planning or pre-planning a funeral. After attending the training last year, they now have a far greater understanding of how to communicate with them at what is a difficult and traumatic time in their lives.”

Carol Bartrum from Ashefields Care Home in Etwall was one of the delegates who took part last year. She said: “We have a lot of residents who have dementia and it was interesting to better appreciate just how they view the world.” “It was a very worthwhile experience and is a timely reminder that we should all look at how we communicate with and create the right environment for people with dementia to make their lives as easy and comfortable as we can.”

The three sessions will begin at 9:30, 12:15 and 3:00, each lasting two hours 15 minutes. Training costs £25 per person. Places can be booked by calling Joan Henchliffe at G. Wathall and Son Ltd on 01332 345268 or by emailing

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