Caring for a family member or friend with dementia is demanding, worrying and challenging. Aside from the practical aspects of their day-to-day welfare and safety, knowing their health will deteriorate and their future safeguarded adds further worry.
Manchester is a very forward-thinking city when it comes to dementia care. Collaboration between its universities, the pro-active Dementia United group and an ambition across health and community groups to create a dementia-friendly city are all helping individuals and communities cope.
There are around 30,000 people in Manchester living with Alzheimer’s and many of those are being cared for by inexperienced family and friends who are thrown in at the deep end once a diagnosis is made.
The city is reaching out directly to these carers by hosting the Alzheimer’s Show at EventCity, the Trafford Centre on Friday June 23 and Saturday June 24.
In one day, under one roof, carers can access a wealth of support, expert advice, insight from Alzheimer’s sufferers and their families and carers. In addition, visitors to the show will be able to access the unique Virtual Dementia Tour – a customised mobile simulator that puts people in the shoes – literally – of those with dementia to gain insight and understanding of how their loved ones are affected by the disease.
Visitors can walk through the mobile unit and perform simple tasks whilst wearing gloves, specially adapted headphones and glasses. The experience is designed to replicate the effects of dementia symptoms such as confusion, isolation, vulnerability and sensory changes. Simply spending a few minutes experiencing what a person with dementia may have to live with every day gives extraordinary insight and helps carers understand the challenges faced by their loved ones.
The immersive experience offered by the Virtual Dementia Tour is the only scientifically and medically proven method of giving someone with a healthy brain an experience of what dementia might be like.
Glenn Knight, Managing Director at Training2Care UK, the agency running the experience, said: “By walking in the shoes of a person with dementia, we can start to understand the issues that they face. As a carer or health professional, that means you can therefore begin to understand what you may need to change to improve quality of care.”
The Alzheimer’s Show is a two-day event that brings together all the latest information, practical tools and expert advice on dementia and runs from 10am to 5pm on Friday 23 June and 10am to 4pm on Saturday 24 June at EventCity Manchester.
For more information and to book tickets (£15 each and £10 concession) visit www.alzheimersshow.co.uk