Virtual reality workshops awarded for making a difference to dementia care

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Dementia Australia’s leadership in transforming dementia care and practice, through the use of virtual reality, interactive video games and apps, was honoured this week at the Information Technology in Aged Care Awards (ITAC) receiving the Best Aged Care Software Development and Deployment Award.

Dr Tanya Petrovich, Acting General Manager Learning and Development Dementia Australia, said we are thrilled that our vision to create unique learning experiences which touch, move and inspire our sector colleagues to improve their dementia practice has been recognised by our peers and leaders in our sector.

“A number of years ago we identified the potential of exploring opportunities with emerging technologies such as virtual reality and computer games,” Dr Petrovich said.

“The aim was to create immersive and impactful experiences to build empathy and to prompt new thinking and discussion in the workplace and sector about how, as providers of care, we can improve communication and the environment around a person living with dementia.

“As a result, our flagship workshop, the Virtual Dementia Experience™ delivered in Parkville, Melbourne, has attracted 4,000 participants since the launch in October 2013.

“With the emergence of virtual reality headset technology Dementia Australia developed a more comprehensive, and importantly, a mobile, experience that has been in constant demand with more than 80 Workshop delivered around Australia since February 2017.

Both workshops provide an immersive experience of what it might be like to live with dementia.

“Through ongoing independent evaluation and consumer consultation of these innovations, and all our programs, we are assured that we are influencing change in residential and community care that improves the lives of those living with dementia,” Dr Petrovich said.

“I wish to acknowledge the extraordinary work of the Dementia Australia Learning and Development team and their commitment to transforming dementia care education, to improve the quality of life for people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers.”

For more information about Dementia Australia’s training programs go to For more information about the ITAC Awards go to


Dementia Australia is the national peak body for people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. An estimated 413,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than 1.1 million by 2056. Dementia Australia is the new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia.

National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 Interpreter service available

(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)                                 

Dementia is a National Health Priority Area                                            

Media contacts: Christine Bolt, 0400 004 553,

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines.