CARE workers for a care agency in Old Basing stepped into the shoes of people with dementia on Tuesday.

Employees with Home Instead Care Basingstoke, in Basing Road, were joined by special guests mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Cllr Diane Taylor and mayor’s consort Dr Andrew Taylor as they took part in the ‘Virtual Dementia Tour.’

The experience saw participants have special insoles inserted into their shoes, gloves of different sizes on both hands and special glasses.

They were then taken inside the Virtual Dementia Tour bus, with sounds designed to disorientate playing through headphones. The group was then given basic tasks, made more difficult by the circumstances.

Sally Regan, trainer and recruiter at Home Instead Basingstoke, said: “All our employees are dementia trained, and it’s more about the sensory side with training like this.

“Putting people inside the dementia bubble, even for nine minutes, can help to explain some of our clients behaviour better for them.

“It is very important that we help them to live well and get a better understanding of their situation. I thought I knew what it would be like, but I didn’t.”

Along with the rest of the group, Basingstoke and Deane mayor Cllr Diane Taylor took part in the activity.

Cllr Taylor said: “While you can’t exactly replicate what someone with dementia is going through, the experience shows an idea of what people are going through.

“It was really helpful to hear the insights of the others that were in there, including how they were struggling as well.

“It was a difficult experience, which I am glad to be out of, but it will be useful for the people who are dealing with people who have dementia.

“It is a valuable extra insight that they will now have.”