Dementia Friends: Thoughts on empathy

Dementia Friends Champion Helen Morris and Dementia Awareness offers some thoughts on empathy.

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Dementia Friends Champion: Helen Morris

IT IS May so it’s Dementia Awareness Week and this year it runs from Sunday 15 to Saturday 21. To find out more about local events visit this website:

Dementia Friends and other campaigns encourage us all to think more about what it’s like living with dementia and through my work I am seeing a lot more evidence of empathy between care home staff and residents, which is great.

Better still, we can now take a unique opportunity to experience, first hand, the challenges of living with dementia when the Virtual Dementia Tour comes to Saddleworth Leisure Centre on September 16 and 17 this year.

The session costs £25 and takes about 2 hours, including 8 minutes in conditions which mimic the confusion associated with dementia and the challenges of other disabilities common in older age.

The sessions were developed by an American Geriatrician P K Beville some years ago and they have been described in many journals.

This tour has been arranged by one of Saddleworth’s most active Dementia Friends Champions, Joyce Brown.

I am already booked into the experience and will report on it for October but to boost Dementia Awareness this May, I would encourage people to consider taking part, especially if they are caring for someone with dementia.

Please bear in mind when you do that the simulation will be uncomfortable as the whole point is to ‘walk in the shoes’ of someone coping with dementia.

I think it will be a real eye-opener and hope we can open up the column for your comments on the experience too.

To book call Training2care 01376 573999 and ask for Maria Riches.

To tell me what you think just email me at or call my mobile 07976 702171. Please book me from June onwards to run a Dementia Friends session for your group by giving me a call.


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