Revolutionary VR Technology Comes To Ashwell
Ashwell is bring revolutionary technology to Worcestershire to help people understand what it is like to live with dementia.
Family-owned home care agency, Ashwell Home Care Services have invested in a state-of-the-art virtual reality headset, called Elara, which allows the user to step into the reality of a person living with dementia.
The headset will be used to give all members of staff at Ashwell a real insight into what challenges are faced by those living with dementia, by allowing them to experience it first-hand.
Debbie & Phil Ashwell, founders of the care agency are excited to bring their dementia training to the next level – and the immersive experience will be suitable for all staff, regardless of their learning style.
It is hoped that the headset can be used in future to help the members of families living with dementia to understand the reality of the condition – which will lead to a greater understanding, more empathy and a much more harmonious life for all concerned.
“Dementia affects everyone differently and can be a very distressing experience,” said Claire Surr, Professor of Dementia Studies and Director of the Centre for Dementia Research, Leeds Beckett University who co-curated ELARA’s new training programme. “Staff must have an understanding of how people with dementia might see the world, and the impacts of what other people say and do, as well as the physical environment on the person’s wellbeing and behaviour. Research indicates experiential dementia training can help increase their empathy and understanding, potentially improving the quality of care staff deliver. We hope VR will offer an exciting avenue for providing experiential learning opportunities.”
Deb Ashwell commented “this is an exciting development, and we are proud to be one of the first businesses in Worcestershire to deploy this method of learning for our incredible team. Every day, we are helping people with dementia – so having a greater understanding of the realities of their world will help enormously. “
It is hoped that in the future, the headset will be used by the wider community, as well as ongoing staff training for the team at Ashwell Home Care Services.