The technology has made it easier for residents to stay safely connected during the pandemic.
As the pandemic continues to leave many people isolated, virtual reality for seniors can help those living in long term care homes and assisted living homes feel less confined.
Residents of a growing number of facilities are gaining access to VR tech.
Virtual reality for seniors is available at locations such as The Summit in Hockessin, Delaware and The Virginian, in Fairfax, Virginia, among others. It allows them to experience activities and stay connected in a way that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Interactive gaming has made it possible for these seniors to share experiences with others across the country without having to leave their homes.
This is particularly important right now when in-person visits are limited or banned in certain areas under social distancing guidelines. As seniors are at a particularly high risk if infected and as viruses can spread very quickly through long term care facilities, residences have had to employ strict regulations to keep those living there safe.
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Residents can use virtual reality for seniors to play games, fly planes and talk to others.
The VR allows older Americans to try new things that would otherwise be impossible from inside the facilities. At the same time, the technology also allows them to revisit memories, such as traveling through cities where they’ve already been. They can check out what has changed in a city they once knew or walk through a city they’ve never seen before. Aside from traveling, users can also attend concerts, fly aircraft, or even find themselves surrounded by puppies.
The programs used by many of these facilities are sold by MyndVR, a VR company with products geared specifically toward older adults. The idea behind these products is to help individuals to feel less of a sense of isolation. The technology makes it possible for residents who are, in actuality, quite cut off from the outside world due to the pandemic, to feel as though they’re adventuring through the world.
Virtual reality for seniors is also encouraging more interaction among residents, according to Wilhelima Saluto, Upper East Side Rehabilitation and Nursing Center creative arts specialist in Manhattan. “After their experience with it, they tend to socialize with the other people because they’re excited and [want to] share it with other people,” she said in a recent CNN report.