The DEEDS team from the Old Library Trust in Derry made their way to the Alley Theatre, Strabane on Friday last to facilitate the programming of the ‘Virtual Dementia Tour’ in which family members, carers and staff from the WHSCT participated in a window into the world of those living with dementia.

The Virtual Dementia Bus is the perfect training model for carers – both formal and informal as well as staff who are working with dementia patients in the Trust area. It’s understood that 76 people have been trained on the bus in Derry and Strabane and include visits by the Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Sandra Duffy, the Commissioner for Older People Eddie Lynch, Age Friendly Derry and Strabane’s Ciara Burke and Heather Hamilton from the PHA - all of whom will take the learning forward to help make the local council area a dementia friendly region.

DEEDS Co-ordinator Sinead added: ‘We are thrilled by the uptake at the Alley Theatre, Strabane. It really does help carers and staff working with people affected by dementia to gain a deeper understanding of what it is like to live with the condition.

Concluding, Sinead said: ‘The success in both Derry and Strabane clearly demonstrates the need for more education and training. Part of the new funding which DEEDS has just received from Lottery under the Community Fund will help address this need as we will have a new suite of courses for carers both formal and informal as well as local businesses across the Council area.’

Speaking about taking part in the tour, the Commissioner for Older People Eddie Lynch commented;

“Today has been a really insightful experience, bringing to life what it’s like to live with dementia. With 1 in 3 people expected to die of dementia related diseases and with an ageing population, now really is the time to make the change and improve the lives of people with dementia. This training will really make a difference to anyone caring for a person living with dementia."