THE Mayor of Winchester took part in a special training day at a city care home.

Cllr Eleanor Bell was at Brendoncare Park Road when the Virtual Dementia Bus visited.

The Bus is a pioneering mobile unit offering the closest medically and scientifically proven experience of what the condition might be like for someone with a healthy brain.

"I found the experience completely disconcerting and very difficult to carry out any meaningful tasks," said Cllr Bell.

"I now feel I have an appreciation of what someone suffering from dementia has to live with, and have a better understanding of how this will help staff and families to support and care for someone with dementia."

The training provided staff, volunteers and local community members an immersive experience of living with dementia, using special props, light and sound effects to replicate the experiences of dementia.

It gave an understanding of what someone with dementia might be going through in order to best support and help them to enjoy life as much as possible.

Nicola Beale, Brendoncare training co-ordinator, said: “You think dementia is just about memory loss but this experience gave me a 360 degree view of everything about dementia.”

Karen Hutchings, chef at the Park Road home, added: "This gave me a chance to see and feel dementia. The experience brought out so many emotions; anxiety, irritation and loneliness.”