Bluebird Care hosts cutting-edge dementia simulation to educate community

Bluebird Care Epsom, Kingston and Sutton hosted Training2Cares Dementia Virtual Bus to help educate the local community on how Dementia Can affect an individual.


Bluebird Care Epsom, Kingston and Sutton hosted Training2Cares Dementia Virtual Bus to help educate the local community on how Dementia Can affect an individual.

Bluebird Care Epsom & Kingston hosted an immersive dementia experience to help members of the community understand how their neighbours with the condition experience the world. As cases of dementia continue to rise and more than 16,000 people in Surrey alone live with the condition, the local care provider took action to educate the community about the little-understood condition.

The mobile dementia simulator gives users the opportunity to experience what dementia might be like by replicating different symptoms and challenges faced by someone with the condition. The medically-proven training method, which tours the country via bus, is undertaken by 200,000 people each year. It has been commissioned by 18 NHS Trusts, care and nursing homes, police forces, ambulance services, universities, councils, and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Participants from the local area, including Sutton’s Deputy Mayor Councillor Louise Phelan, donned headphones, thick mittens to impair their ability to perform tasks, and tinted glasses to impair their vision. Whilst in this state of disorientation, they were challenged to navigate dark rooms with coloured lights to maximise their confusion and frustration. Participants also wore spiked insoles in their shoes to cause a pins and needles sensation – a common symptom of dementia. Following this unsettling experience, local residents were advised with practical suggestions on how they could help other people manage the symptoms that they had just experienced.

Councillor Louise Phelan, Deputy Mayor of Sutton, said: 

It is a testament to our success as a society that more people are reaching old age. As more people experience dementia as a result, our society must again demonstrate its capacity to innovate and support others, and the dementia simulation did just that. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this challenging experience, which has transformed my understanding of dementia and generated plenty of new ideas to support people with condition locally.

After the success of the virtual dementia experience in Epsom, the dementia simulator is due to visit additional Bluebird Care teams in West Sussex to deliver a similarly educational and transformative experience to local residents.

To further reinforce the community support for local people living with dementia, Bluebird Care Epsom & Kingston will also work with the Epsom branch of Barclays to outline ways to better support local customers with the condition. Bluebird Care Epsom & Kingston will likewise work closely with Age Concern Epsom and Ewell to champion local conversations about, and support for, dementia via a series of local events and initiatives.

Jordan Bradbury, Care Service Specialist at Bluebird Care Epsom, Kingston, and Sutton, said: “Whilst the dementia simulation was certainly challenging, it was a true reflection of the daily experiences of those who live with dementia, and one that will stay with me for a long time. Particularly as dementia becomes more widespread, many communities would benefit from a greater understanding of how the condition impacts people. Both professional carers and members of the public have an important role to play in helping our neighbours with dementia to feel safe and supported when at home and in public. The dementia simulation has sparked many local conversations about the condition, and we are determined to build on this initial interest to help improve the lives of those living with dementia.”