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Empathy out of technology

Experience the world as a person living with dementia through virtual reality with Dementia Australia.

Recently Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe addressed the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety highlighting the impact of dementia in Australia – on Australians – and reinforced that dementia must be core business for aged care.

“Dementia is the chronic disease of the 21st century,” Ms McCabe said.

“It needs to be a priority for the health and aged care industries.”

More than 438,000 Australians are currently living with dementia. This figure is projected to increase to almost 1.1 million people by 2058.

Around 70 per cent of people with dementia live in the community while more than 50 per cent of residents of aged care have a diagnosis of dementia. Many don’t have a diagnosis and many more will develop dementia while living in an aged care home.

“This Royal Commission is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the industry to make a profound and lasting difference to the lives of all people impacted by dementia,” Ms McCabe said.

As the national peak body and charity for people of all ages living with all forms of dementia, and their families and carers, Dementia Australia is committed to making a difference to the lives of all people impacted by dementia. As the leading provider of dementia education in Australia for more than 30 years, Dementia Australia offers a range of courses to support the professional development of every person who works in the aged care industry.

The flagship Enabling EDIE™ workshop that stands for ‘Educational Dementia Immersive Experience’, is a ground-breaking session using virtual reality that enables participants to see the world through the eyes of a person living with dementia.

Enabling EDIE™ was designed with the aim to build empathy in the user, for people living with dementia.

The workshops are for staff providing support to people living with dementia and their carers. The experience enhances the participant’s knowledge and understanding of dementia, and provides strategies to empower those living with dementia to live more confidently. The training sessions can be tailored to be inclusive of people with English as a second language.

Past course participants have provided inspiring feedback on the experience and shared insight into their increased empathy for those they care for living with dementia.

“I feel like I can understand dementia more and can therefore empathise more. I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like living with these symptoms day-after-day,” an EDIE user said.

“The training session is beyond my expectation. It helps the carer/health care professional in dealing with patients/residents, with dignity and compassion,” another EDIE user said.

In the following months the Royal Commission will continue to shine a spotlight on aged care across the country with a particular focus on dementia practice.

Now is the time to ensure staff at all levels are prepared and well-informed to provide the best quality of care for people living with dementia.

More information about Enabling EDIE™ courses can be found here.

Enabling EDIE™ is one of the many accredited and non-accredited courses Dementia Australia offers that equip aged care professionals with the skills and empathy to best support those living with dementia. Find out more here.

For enquiries or general information about the Dementia Australia course please call 1300 DEMENTIA (1300 336 368) or email [email protected]g.au

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