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‘461 Kiwis experience dementia thanks to EDIE’

Since the Dementia Learning Centre began running Educational Dementia Immersive Experience (EDIE) workshops last year, 461 people have walked in the virtual ‘shoes’ of a man living with dementia.

“EDIE has been confronting and shocking for some. But its value has been letting people ‘see’ dementia and realise the smallest of changes can make the life of someone with living dementia much easier,” says the Centre Director Dr Kathy Peri.

“The virtual reality experience is one way that we can start a conversation so people can better understand what dementia is like. After all, if you’ve never walked in the shoes of someone with dementia, it might be hard to empathise with them.”

Co-designed by people with dementia, the EDIE experience has given a diverse number of people from all types of backgrounds, including the general public, health and care professionals a better understanding of dementia.

The feedback during and following the workshops has been illuminating as noted in the following attendees’ quotes:

“Before this session, my knowledge of dementia was very little, but the experience was very informative.” “The virtual experience was amazing; it really was an eye-opener to the feeling of what is like to experience what’s going on for someone with dementia.”

“I have better insight and understanding about dementia and how to support a person with dementia.”

“It was a great reminder of reablement and opportunities, the need for continuous revisioning of dementia support. I would love for all my staff to do this training, so they have a better understanding of the needs of some of our members.”

Dr Peri would like to see more people – from carers and whānau to government officials and MPs – take a walk in the shoes of Edie.

These workshops serve not only to raise awareness but also to enhance skills and improve understanding in dementia care. At our centre, our primary aim is to offer such opportunities through EDIE workshops and various other educational activities.

 

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