Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK), in collaboration with people with dementia, developed an app called A Walk Through Dementia (AWTD). The app can be downloaded to a mobile phone and viewed through a virtual reality (VR) headset. This immersive simulated learning experience places the viewer in the shoes of the person with dementia.

We worked closely with ARUK and evaluated the impact of using the AWTD as part of a structured education session delivered to undergraduate health care students and nursing home staff. Based on these evaluations we developed a workbook to support the learning of AWTD. We are now in the process of developing these materials as an eLearning resource to be housed on the freely available Health Education England e-learning for health site. The workbook can be accessed via the ARUK online shop.

Day to day living with dementia - A VR Experience

Four 30 minute ELearning sessions

This resource is on the Health Education England eLearning for health site, and you’ll need your Athens login to access. It was developed by BU staff and students, and local dementia specialists in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Research UK.

There are four sessions which outline how a humanised approach to dementia care can help us know more about the day to day experiences of going to the shops, walking home from the shops and making a cup of tea for someone living with dementia.

The films were created as an app and viewed with a virtual reality (VR) headset. The app can be downloaded from your app store, it’s called A Walk Through Dementia. The films can be looked at without VR.

This eLearning resource offers practical tips and evidence on caring and communicating with people with dementia and provides more details on the impact of dementia.The eLearning resource can be accessed here.


We have evaluated the impact of using the AWTD app, as part of a structured education session with over 500 undergraduate health care students and nursing home staff. We used a post session survey and 6 weeks after the session invited learners to a focus group to discuss if the learning had influenced their practice. Results of this have been disseminated at national and international conferences, and academic journals.

The next stage of the evaluation is developing a model of how to evaluate education on care recipients experience. We will use the AWTD app in a structured education session to a specified cohort of learners, and undertaking follow-up evaluations with staff, care recipients and family members.