Flinders Caring Futures Institute researcher, Professor Lily Xiao, successfully hosted an eighth webinar on June 9 2022, inviting Dr Tanya Petrovich, Business Innovation Manager, Dementia Australia to discuss learning tools for dementia care.
Dr Tanya Petrovich introduced a range of innovative computer based learning platforms developed by the team at the Centre for Dementia Learning, Dementia Australia. These included programs for people with dementia such as the virtual forest which enables interaction with nature through hand movements on a large screen. Programs for those caring for people with dementia include the award winning immersive sensory environment known as EDIE (Educational Dementia Immersive Experience) which can improve the knowledge, attitudes, empathy and understanding of those without dementia. The ‘Ask Annie’ mobile education app helps care workers strengthen dementia support skills.
Another program, ‘A day in the life’ virtual experience provides insights into meal time at an aged care facility from the perspectives of a carer and a resident. Similarly, ‘Talk with Ted’ enables caregivers to realistically converse with a virtual avatar resident in a scenario based on showering. Just a short session with Ted has been found to change caregivers’ practices, with learning retained after 8 weeks. For families, the ‘better visit’ app provides interactive tablet based games to share when visiting a person with dementia.
The webinar attracted over 100 participants and most of them were from greater China including health professionals, university students and academics. Participants showed a great interest in dementia care learning tools developed in Australia. There was interest in adapting tools to suit people from a Chinese background living with dementia.
In July, Professor Xiao and the project team in Australia and greater China will be participating in a Virtual Dementia experience hosted by Dementia Australia.
A final webinar in this series, presenting results of the study, is expected to be held early next year.