Background: Currently, the care for elderly people is provided mainly on an informal basis by relatives. This is often associated with psychological and physical stress. Caregiving relatives usually take over the role unprepared and they lack both knowledge and skills to fulfil the tasks. Therefore, arrangements must be made to provide respite for family carers. Simulation training is a validated experiential learning tool traditionally incorporated in health professional education but has not been commonly used in the hands-on training of informal caregivers.