WHEN you think of dementia, the first thing that would pop into your mind in memory loss.

That’s it - other than not being able to remember what you did yesterday, you’re pretty much fine, right? Wrong.

A person with dementia faces much more than that.

As well as struggling with memory loss, a person’s senses can be altered, making everyday tasks very difficult.

Your vision can be restricted, your feet and hands are numb, and every noise is shocking and loud.

To give carers and professionals a real feel of what life with dementia is like, Taunton-based care company Home Instead brought the Virtual Dementia Tour to Taunton.

The Virtual Dementia Tour is managed by Training 2 CARE and is the only medically and scientifically proven method of giving a person with a healthy brain the experience of what dementia might be like.

Invented 23 years ago in America by professor PK Beville, CEO Second Wind Dreams, the VDT has been experienced by more than three million people in 23 countries.

The aim of the training is to make families, friends and care providers think about how they interact with people with dementia.

It allows the trainee to walk, or shuffle, a mile in their shoes.

Training 2 CARE’s managing director, Glenn Knight, said: “The VDT is the only method of helping staff and families to really understand the changes that we need to make to become a dementia interpreter.

“By understanding the issues faced by a person living with dementia, we can unlock new ways to communicate, understand their behaviours, reduce frustration, anxiety and really improve their lives.

“Training 2 CARE is proud to have delivered this amazing training across the UK and will continue to increase knowledge by allowing you to walk in their shoes.”

Staff at Home Instead went through the training on June 7 in Taunton.

Vanessa Munson, owner of Home Instead Senior Care Taunton and West Somerset, said: “The virtual experience aims to give participants an experience of what life is like for people living with dementia, which is so important for us to understand, so that we can make sure we deliver the best quality of care.

”We are elated that we were able to experience the Virtual Dementia Tour, and the feedback from our caregivers has been very positive.”

During the tour you’re given spikey insoles, bulky gloves, headphones and special glasses.

You’re asked to carry out certain tasks, and to ‘make yourself useful’ - but you struggle to comprehend the instructions, and feel uncomfortable people are in your personal space.

The training gives you an insight into your actions when interacting with people with dementia.