HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Baltimore, Maryland, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

8th Edition of Nursing World Conference

October 17-19, 2024 | Baltimore, USA

October 17 -19, 2024 | Baltimore, USA
NWC 2022

Marian Heemskerk

Speaker at  Nursing World Conference 2022 - Marian Heemskerk
Director of Community Life, Canada
Title : Sharing the findings from a "Virtual Dementia Tour Workshop"


Elim Village is a senior’s community located in Surrey, BC with approximately six hundred and fifty (650) seniors and three hundred (300) staff on site. A workshop was held at Elim Village in late fall of 2018 to provide staff with an opportunity to experience personally challenges persons diagnosed with Dementia face daily. According to the World Health Organization, Dementia affects nearly 50 million individuals worldwide with approximately 10,000 new cases each year. The Virtual Dementia Tour ® (VDT®) is an evidence-based innovative workshop hosted by Second Wind Dreams, Inc. ® and Grier Dementia Training ® to help caregivers learn more about the impacts on persons diagnosed with the disease. One hundred and seventy-seven (177) staff participants attended the one-day workshop. Participants were given various sensory debilitating barriers and were asked to complete a variety of tasks. Prior to the simulation and immediately following, all participants completed a questionnaire. The pre-test and post-test questionnaire results were contrasted against one another, revealing a significant shift in philosophy following the VDT. Several weeks following the workshop, another survey was conducted by Elim with the participants, revealing significant learnings. Overall more than 90% of participants stated they would recommend this training for staff working with older adults; especially older adults diagnosed with Dementia. Education of this nature can enhance one’s ability to connect and communicate better with older adults suffering from Dementia. There is clear evidence this workshop can impact and change the way staff work with and care for Dementia clients.



I trained as a Licensed Practical Nurse, specializing in gerontology for over 40 years, I have earned multiple certificates related to nursing, a Master’s Degree in Health Specialities, and a Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation to support my career. I am a visionary and a life long learner.  Currently I am the Director of Community Life, working in an older adult community situated on 25 acres, where 650 residents live and more than 300 staff work. I over see the Assisted Living and Independent Living Residents and staff.  I also sit on a mirror committee for Standards of Canada Council (SCC).