Virtual reality session offers Hunter carers a better understanding of dementia

Virtual reality session offers Hunter carers a better understanding of dementia

There is just one month left for people in the Hunter to attend Dementia Australia’s free Educational Dementia Immersive Experience (EDIE) for Carers virtual reality workshops, made possible by a grant of more than $40,000 from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.

EDIE is a three-hour workshop that enhances knowledge of dementia through virtual reality technology, allowing participants to see the world through the eyes of a person living with dementia.

The program aims to improve quality of care for those living with dementia by giving people caring for or supporting someone with the disease a unique insight into their experience.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chair, Jennifer Leslie attended the EDIE for Carers workshop and found the experience invaluable.

“EDIE for Carers completely changed my understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia, which it’s estimated affects almost half a million Australians,” Jennifer said.

“During the workshop, and through the perspective it provides, you start to understand what life is like for a person living with dementia, how important effective communication is and how environmental changes can support a person to live well with dementia.

“The innovative app and virtual reality technology in these workshops makes the experience extremely realistic, giving an insight into a person living with dementia’s daily challenges, as well as the best ways to ensure they can continue to live rich, fulfilling lives.”

Executive Director of Services at Dementia Australia, Leanne Emerson said the support of Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation has helped to spread awareness of EDIE for Carers in the Hunter region and the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We are so grateful for this generous grant from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, which provides further access for people in the Hunter to experience the EDIE program and see the world through the eyes of a person living with dementia,” Leanne said.

“We have had tremendous feedback on the sessions provided in the Hunter – to date, we have held 10 sessions in Raymond Terrace, Hamilton, East Maitland, Toronto, Muswellbrook, Coffs Harbour, and Swansea, helping to educate more than 50 people.

“The benefits of EDIE include developing insight and empathy, understanding the symptoms and impact of dementia, as well as developing skills and confidence to understand the needs of people living with dementia.”

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation has provided grants totalling more than $150,000 to Dementia Australia (previously Alzheimer’s Australia) in a proud association dating back to 2005.

Upcoming workshops include:

  • Swansea: Tuesday 22 November
  • Dungog: Monday 5 December
  • Hamilton: Monday 7 December

IMAGE | An EDIE VR headset

Newcastle Permanent

As a complete retail financial services provider, Newcastle Permanent provides a genuine alternative to traditional banks for a range of financial services including the day to day needs of business banking members.

Besides an extensive network of branches and ATMs, Newcastle Permanent also offers comprehensive electronic banking services that allow their members to conveniently and efficiently conduct their financial business.

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