Virtual dementia experience

Wednesday 30 October 2019

Dementia-Experience-Bus-UoSA-Image-001 low res

A Virtual Dementia Tour gave people in St Andrews the chance to experience the world of those living with dementia yesterday (Tuesday 29 October).

The tour represents the closest a person with a healthy brain can come to experiencing what living with dementia might be like according to evidence.

Dementia affects the brain, making it harder to remember things or think as clearly as before. It is an umbrella term referring to a collection of symptoms that are caused by many different illnesses of the brain.

Supported by Dementia Friendly St Andrews, the tour bus was in Market Street, St Andrews, throughout the day with members of the public dropping in. Several visitors came to gain a better understanding of the struggles faced by friends or family with dementia.

Dementia Friendly St Andrews is supported by local volunteers and works in partnership with Fife Health and Social Care Partnership.


Dr Maggie Ellis, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of St Andrews, who is spearheading a new initiative aimed at making St Andrews a dementia-friendly community, said the Virtual Dementia Tour offered an invaluable opportunity to heighten awareness of a condition that kills more people than heart disease or cancer.

She said: “The virtual tour is a really eye-opening opportunity to gain insight into the daily struggles faced by those with dementia.

“By promoting understanding of dementia and encouraging organisations and businesses to take part in dementia awareness, we can make St Andrews a place where individuals living with dementia are recognised and accepted.”

Photo caption (top, left to right): Mary Anderson (member of the public), Dr Maggie Ellis (Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of St Andrews), Kevin Gordon (School of Psychology), and Patricia Roberts-Owen (member of the public) trying to achieve tasks such as buttoning a shirt whilst experiencing the dementia simulation.

Photo caption (bottom): Dr Maggie Ellis and John Sanders of Dementia Experience with psychology students and the Dementia bus.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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