Experience what it's like to have dementia with Virtual Dementia Tour at Tesco carpark, Newbridge, today

Free guided tour in Newbridge today

Laura Coates

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Laura Coates

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editor@leinsterleader.ie

Experience what it's like to have dementia with Virtual Dementia Tour at Tesco carpark, Newbridge, today

Michelle White, Paul Allen and Shola Mary Arajuwa pictured at the launch of the Virtual Dementia Tour, which will visit Newbridge on Tuesday

A virtual experience which aims to let people see and feel what it is like to live with dementia will be in Newbridge this Tuesday afternoon, June 11.

The Virtual Dementia Tour will be at the town’s Tesco car park, from 3pm to 5pm, and anyone with an interest in dementia can visit free of charge. The event is being hosted by a homecare provider, Right At Home, as part of Carers Week.

David McKone, Managing Director of Right at Home, said: “There are an estimated 2,118 people experiencing dementia in Kildare. The Virtual Dementia Tour is designed to provide visitors with a greater understanding of the difficulties experienced by the people living with this condition.

“Visitors have vision, touch and sound distorted in a similar way to someone with dementia. This builds not only their understanding of the condition, but also their empathy for people affected by dementia,” he added.

Those who work in the medical and caring professions, as well as those whose family members suffer from dementia, may benefit from such an experience.

There are approximately 55,000 people in Ireland with dementia, and this figure is expected to double by 2036.

The Virtual Dementia Tour was invented in America 20 years ago by PK Beville MS, a specialist in geriatrics. During a Virtual Dementia Tour experience, trained facilitators guide participants through the experience — using patented sensory tools and instruction to alter their senses while they try to complete common everyday tasks and exercises. The tour enables care-givers to experience for themselves the physical and mental challenges those with dementia face, and use the experience to provide better person-centred care.