Deerhurst Care Home Purchases Dementia Empathy suit

24th Jan 2024 - Written by Brunelcare

Reading time: 3 minutes

Our Deerhurst Care Home has purchased its very own dementia empathy suit that allows the person wearing it to understand first-hand what it may be like to live with dementia. 

After taking part in Dementia Empathy Training from an external company, the Deerhurst team decided to purchase their very own suit in a bid to allow the carers to experience what it may be like to live with dementia. 

Lesley Hobbs, Deerhurst Care Home Manager said: “The suit is amazing and so insightful. The dementia empathy suit has weights around the ankles and knee pads to restrict the movement and speed of the wearer. There are tinted goggles that affect the wearer’s peripheral vision alongside the colours around them. The gloves that are worn are connected to a machine that makes hands shake, meaning control of movements and coordination were thrown out. You can wear headphones that play a continuous tinnitus sound, and the neck brace reduces the full and able movement of the neck. It was fascinating, and I believe all of our carers should experience the suit as part of an induction process.”

One carer said: “Standing up was an effort, walking was challenging, simple tasks proved difficult and emotions were running high. I felt frustrated and wanted to give up, especially whilst flicking through a newspaper. At times I felt sad and lost whilst other people communicated around me as I couldn’t hear what they were saying.”

60 employees at Deerhurst have now attended the Dementia Empathy training with Alive! Some carers said it was the ‘best training they’ve ever had,’ and believe it should be part of the induction for all employees.