“Virtual reality (VR) therapy may vastly improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, a small new study from the University of Kent, U.K., has found.
Specifically, researchers found that exposing people with dementia to virtual reality environments helped them recall old memories, reduced aggression and improved their interactions with caregivers.
“VR can clearly have positive benefits for patients with dementia, their families, and caregivers. It provides a richer and more satisfying quality of life than is otherwise available, with many positive outcomes,” explains Dr. Jim Ang, PhD, one of the study’s researchers.”
“Technology now offers many ways of assisting or enhancing care, changing the way in which we support people.
Tricuro [a social care provider owned by Dorset CC, Bournmeouth BC and the Borough of Poole have had] over 100 clients taken through virtual reality experiences across residential and day services … to conduct trials in pain management, wellbeing and structured reminiscence.
Keeping [people] happier and healthier for longer is the goal, and virtual reality and other emerging tech gives new tools to explore new and alternative ways of achieving this.”
“Virtual reality is being used across the world to help people with dementia, and to give friends, family member and carers an insight into what everyday life can be like for those with the condition.
A video shared on Youtube, aims to show how virtual reality system ImmersiCare can improve the wellbeing of those living with dementia.
The software, which transports people in an alternative, virtual world, has been used as a form of therapeutic engagement for residents with dementia, in a partnership between Immersicare and UK care home group Quantum Care. “
“Developed in conjunction with Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, the Virtual Dementia Experience (or VDE) is a pioneering effort in the field of ‘empathetic education.’
The Virtual Dementia Experience (VDE) simulates the effects of aging and dementia in a virtual environment, so that cognitively intact people can gain an appreciation of the issues confronting people with dementia.”
“A new project in Australia is bringing together video game technology with gesture recognition and some other components to create a virtual reality interactive environment for dementia patients and their caretakers. The project is still in the development stage, and is looking for crowdsourced funds, but the video below shows off the current prototype that will eventually include a 10 m x 10 m projection screen, a touch display, and special lighting.”