Kudos to the amazing team at Bluecare Labrador Gardens – lead passionately by Lifestyle Coordinator, Tracey Hoskins, they’ve been taking “armchair travel” to the next level with our VR solution for the past year and even created their own “travel board” capturing resident’s shared travels and experiences around the globe! 🌎
Tracey has been actively involved in the program for over 12 months and through Covid lockdowns, which were particularly tough on residents, with increased isolation and cancellation of many activities and visitors.
The team have found the VR solution extremely popular among the majority of residents and even created their own travel board, capturing favourite experiences and adventures that is shared regularly with loved ones to great effect and positive feedback. She shares;
“Our residents are enjoying the experience, reminiscing of the places they have been, with others stating they only ever dreamt of seeing these places as they never had the opportunity to travel themselves.
They are in high demand asking when they can do it again and we get around to most of our 160 residents to give them a go.
Everyone enjoys it and we even have a 100 and 102-year-old resident that each love them.
It gives other residents and staff pleasure watching them move their heads from side to side and up and down and the noises they make when watching the shows.
So, on behalf of the lifestyle Team, we want to thank you for allowing our residents to experience this and adding to the quality of their Wellbeing through this.
Results of 12-month pilot program across multiple UnitingCare sites
Imagine being able to revisit a childhood home, a church you were married in or a place you went on holidays with your family? For those of us born overseas, what about taking a journey back to experience familiar sights and sounds, and reconnect with your culture? Maybe a faith-based pilgrimage or personal spiritual practice?
Virtual Reality is at it’s best when partnered with a deep understanding of the individual and what’s important to them and that’s how innovative care providers like UnitingCare Queensland are getting the most out of VR with SilVR Adventures.
By building upon their strong connections with the individual, carers can deliver meaningful personalised experiences that leverage the power of VR to connect to identity.
No matter what stage of life an individual is at, virtual reality may provide engagement, excitement, and an opportunity for connection.
Particularly for those of us supporting a loved one with dementia, as VR has been shown to “positively affect the cognitive and physical functioning of those with mild cognitive impairment or dementia”.
And what could be more important for someone living with dementia, than to reconnect them to their true self, their culture, and their loved ones. Now we’re really pushing the dial with “joy”!
Sometimes what’s important, isn’t a clinical benefit…
What is immediately apparent when you try on a VR headset is that it’s like magic. Whilst there may be benefits in well-being and cognitive function, it’s an experience to bring wonder, enjoyment, and positive emotions and this can be supercharged when sharing the same experience in a group VR setting.
Any tool that can help bring significant and measurable joy, happiness, and excitement to the life of care recipients is one that’s worth exploring.
Ultimately, that might be the driving factor in the growing use of VR in the aged care space, a growth that’s led by providers that truly embrace innovation.
SilVR Adventures provides meaningful virtual reality experiences and activities for older adults to improve mental well-being.
UnitingCare is a courageous and creative health and community services provider across Queensland and the Northern Territory. Built on compassion, and a belief that people should experience life in all its fullness.