Story image

Aged care residents live out their dreams in virtual reality

25 Jul 2018

Age is no excuse for experiencing the rich world of virtual reality, as three dementia patients from Sydney discovered for themselves recently.

The folks at Samsung took their VR kits to a care facility called Uniting Care. Aged care patients who suffer from dementia were able to experience worlds they thought were beyond their reach.

All of the residents expressed wonder and amazement as they used VR to tick off items on their bucket list and live out their dreams.

Resident Don Jackson took a walk through the Canadian Redwood forests:

“Oh, that’s beautiful!” he says as the headset goes on.

“Look at all the trees!  There’s a bridge there.”

Resident James Hadley his hometown Vancouver, a place he hasn’t been back to since he arrived in Australia.

“I see the trolley buses,” he says as he looks around.

“That’s quite an experience, I don’t think I’ve ever been on one of those,” he says afterward.

Resident Stephen Cusack went on a spacecraft, orbited earth, and went to the Grand Canyon.

“It definitely feels like I’m in a satellite orbiting the earth very slowly,” Cusack exclaims.

“I thought it was great being introduced to what new technologies are available to people. It’s interesting to see not just the development of the technology, but also how it’s being shared around,” Cusack continues.

According to Samsung and the Uniting Care facility, the experience was part of a pilot programme that brings VR to five homes across Australia.  If successful, the pilot may change experiences for aged and dementia patients in homes all around the country.

Uniting executive director Tracey Burton says the partnership between Samsung and Uniting has been a fantastic experience for the residents ‘who just loved it’.

“We’ve just had one resident, James, who just went down the Shotover River in New Zealand. It was amazing,” she says.

Australia’s ageing population is linked to health implications, and now dementia is the second-leading cause of death in Australians. People with dementia also account for 52% all residents in aged care facilities.

Samsung says that bringing VR into aged care facilities, the hope is to create a better environment for the residents and to help them cope with a range of mental health issues such as social anxiety, isolation and depression.

“Studies have shown that virtual reality can have a therapeutic effect, stimulate the brain, enhance social integration and create an increase in overall wellbeing in patients.”

DJI tightens drone no-fly areas around Europe's airports
If you’re heading to Europe and taking your drones with you, you might want to stay away from Europe’s airports if you have any DJI equipment.
By 2040, landlines will probably be dead
What’s causing landlines’ slow deaths? Smartphones, calling plans, and internet calling.
As online GST looms, Kiwis aren't too fussed about it
A recent Canstar Blue online shopping consumer poll found that only 29% of 1659 respondents will be put off buying things from international websites.
Game review: Anime characters join in Jump Force
The first thing you will notice about Jump Force is the impressive roster of over 42 playable characters for you to select.
Popular Android apps track users and violate Google's policies
Google has reportedly taken action against some of the violators.
How blockchain could help stop video piracy in its tracks
An Australian video tech firm has successfully tested a blockchain trial that could end up being a welcome relief for video creators and the fight against video piracy.
Huawei to unveil P30 smartphone series in March
Huawei smartphone lovers have just over a month to wait before they meet the P20’s successor – the Huawei P30.
Need the perfect flatmate? AI can help
A Kiwi entrepreneur has developed a flatmate-finding service called Mogeo, which is an algorithm that matches people to the perfect flatmates.