EDIE

Building empathy by allowing people to experience dementia through their own eyes.


Dementia is known for memory loss, but there are many other symptoms that are often neglected.

An estimated 1.2 million people are involved in the care of over 400,000 Australians living with dementia. With a majority of sufferers still living within their local communities, they are often cared for by family members or other loved ones.

However, many carers are unaware of the extent to which dementia can affect a person’s cognitive functions and perception. Dark floor mats may appear as holes. A busy pattern might have the illusion of moving, and even looking, like a swarm of insects.These symptoms can be difficult to understand for carers who don’t experience these illusions themselves, and can lead to the person with dementia not receiving the care they require.

“Without a doubt, it was for three and a half minutes, some of the most shocking, dystopian, experience that I could not have imagined. But it puts me in the shoes of someone living in dementia.” Hon Bill Shorten, MP

Solution

The Educational Dementia Immersive Experience (EDIE) is a virtual reality experience that provides users with the opportunity to live through the eyes of someone with dementia. EDIE aims to build empathy and raise awareness of the issues faced by those living with dementia.

The user steps into the shoes of Edie, a person with dementia, as he navigates to the bathroom during the night, trying his best to avoid disrupting his wife. Using various lighting, sound, and other special effects, the app highlights how dementia can complicate a person’s perception. A second scenario demonstrates how simple changes around the home can improve quality of life.

Try EDIE at Dementia Australia