Impact of a simulated ‘dementia experience’ on Care Home Staff

Gary Mitchell, Joanne Strain

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Dementia can be considered as a stigmatising disease and in recent years there have been a range of empirical and anecdotal accounts of care practice which are task-orientated and serve to disempower people living with dementia. In response, there has been a focus on innovative approaches to dementia education which can illuminate how dementia impacts the person and can foster empathetic care practice for people who deliver care.
The aim of this project was to develop a short interactive ‘dementia experience’ workshop for people who work in care homes. The ‘Dementia Experience’ was co-designed by people living with dementia, their family members and multidisciplinary dementia specialists. This presentation will provide evidence from six focus groups (n=40) of care home colleagues who participated in a ‘dementia experience’ workshop in a care home in Northern Ireland. The data was audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed using Braun and Clark (2006) framework.
The main themes that emerged from this study related to the following five areas: Working with the person’s beliefs and values, the importance of engagement, the importance of shared decision-making, having a sympathetic presence and providing person-centred care. The majority of care staff who participated in focus groups suggested that these areas would correlate to person-centred outcomes which were broadly described as:
1. Satisfaction with care. 2. Involvement with care. 3. Feeling of wellbeing. 4. Creating a therapeutic culture within the care home.
Through provision of the ‘dementia experience’ care staff collectively reported the fundamental importance of helping their residents retain and reclaim their personhood which they understood could be under threat by non-personalised approaches to care.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted - 20 Mar 2018
EventRCN Education Forum National Conference 2018 - Newcastle, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Mar 201821 Mar 2018


ConferenceRCN Education Forum National Conference 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of a simulated ‘dementia experience’ on Care Home Staff'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this