CARE providers have been invited to learn more about what it’s like to live with dementia.

Devon County Council has organised a free virtual dementia experience delivered by Training2Care, and funded by the Health and Social Care Skills Accelerator Programme, and the European Social Fund.

The Virtual Dementia Tour stimulates the senses so that attendees can understand what people, who live with dementia, feel and experience in their daily lives.

It helps attendees to think about the environment, their approach to care and communication, and provides simple solutions to make a better life for people with dementia.

The training also helps people who work in care homes and domiciliary care to recognise the challenges faced by people with dementia, and to think about the care and support they provide.

The first event took place at County Hall, Exeter, in Tavistock and Barnstaple.

Care providers attending the training at County Hall on May 10 said: “I enjoyed the training. It was an eye opener. I recommend (the training) for most care-givers of families of people who have dementia.”

“I found the training amazing. It opened my mind and gave me a lot to take back and change to make a difference to those we care for. Thank you.”

According to the NHS, dementia symptoms may include problems with:

• memory loss

• thinking speed

• mental sharpness and quickness

• language, such as using words incorrectly, or trouble speaking

• understanding

• judgement

• mood

• movement

• difficulties doing daily activities.

People with dementia can lose interest in their usual activities, and may have problems managing their behaviour or emotions.

They may also find social situations difficult and lose interest in relationships and socialising.

Aspects of their personality may change, and they may lose empathy.

A person with dementia may see or hear things that other people do not.

Because people with dementia may lose the ability to remember events, or not fully understand their environment or situations, it can seem as if they’re not telling the truth or are wilfully ignoring problems.

As dementia affects a person’s mental abilities, they may find planning and organising difficult. Maintaining their independence may also become a problem.

A person with dementia will usually need help from friends or relatives, including help with making decisions.

The symptoms of dementia usually become worse over time. In the late stage of dementia, people will not be able to take care of themselves and may lose their ability to communicate.

To find out more about dementia, visit the NHS website: .