People who live with dementia go through various forms of therapy to help with mental stimulation that may or may not include pharmaceuticals. People tend to resort to non-pharmaceutical therapy as a daily practice to cope with the symptoms of dementia. Among the many forms of therapy, there’s one in particular that dates all the way back to 1963, “reminiscence therapy”.
Reminiscence therapy is a type of treatment that uses all 5 senses – taste, touch, sight, sound and smell. These methods help people living with dementia remember events by going through simple activities using the 5 senses in hopes of triggering memories. Experts believe that storytelling from the past can help people living with dementia feel less isolated.
These methods can include looking through photos, eating childhood meals, smelling flowers from a memory etc. It provides an opportunity to talk about these events in great detail and build the confidence around recalling past events. It also gives a feeling of success as it’s a milestone they’ve accomplished through their journey of living with dementia.
Now where does VR come in?
When it comes to bringing back old memories, the use of VR with reminiscence therapy allows it to be a more immersive experience. With the ability to virtually travel to a location from an old memory, users would be able to fully explore and engage with their senses.
Compared to just looking at an old photograph would bring about a more meaningful experience with this particular form of therapy. Just the idea of walking through their old wedding chapel or visiting the country they were born in with the bustling sounds of the environment is enough to prompt fond memories. That’s exactly what reminiscence therapy is all about. Putting this in a virtual headset for a fully immersive experience just takes it a step further.
By allowing an older adult who is living with dementia a chance to speak up and share their fond memories, they are able to be mentally stimulated and engage with the community around them. Over time, this may help relief the symptoms of depression and isolation. With just one headset, let’s give the opportunity to the older adults in our care to travel through time and reminisce a cherished memory with a loved one.
At SilVR Adventures reducing loneliness in aged care is at the core of what we do. And we’re proud to have taken thousands of older adults on shared virtual experiences around the world. It’s these shared experiences that 85% of our customers have said help to significantly drive social engagements. Whether it’s a trip to see the Aurora Borealis or the Great Wall of China, our experiences allow one to relive past memories and exercise their thinking.
Shared experiences can help community dwelling older adults be in a more socially inclusive atmosphere and with experiences in the comfort of their community. Contact us today to arrange a demo and learn more about how virtual reality can help combat loneliness for your older adults in your care.