Sometimes, no matter how badly you want to get out and do things, you just can’t get there anymore. Some seniors are restricted from their favorite outings because of physical restraints. Others are in nursing homes far from where their families live, and so they can’t be there for birthdays and holidays like they used to. Many are suffering from memory loss. But imagine if all of these aging people could experience new places or see their families without ever leaving the comfort of their couch? With virtual reality, this is possible. Virtual reality is essentially a computer-generated, three-dimensional image or scene. Seniors wear special equipment so that they can look into a device and feel like they’re in a world removed from their own. For those who are reaching for a new reality, VR for seniors has many benefits. Check it out!
The Top Three Benefits of VR for Seniors
The number one goal in VR for seniors is to help them feel less lonely. Some statistics show that more than 50 percent of senior home residents experience depression and isolation while living there. Virtual reality opens a new world to them. When they’re feeling lonely, they can go on an excursion. If they’re depressed, they can unwind with views of a tropical beach. If they’re missing their family, they can even use virtual reality to visit their old neighborhood. With that said, here are the top three benefits of VR for seniors!
1. Education and Experience
VR for seniors allows them to learn new things. Some virtual reality programs allow them to visit national parks, learn about different places and cultures. It takes them from their senior care center to a place far, far away. It can be places they’ve been before, or they can visit places they’ve always wanted to see but never got the chance to. That safari adventure you never got to take? Now’s your chance! That coral reef you swam through on your honeymoon – you can do it again! Virtual reality users can also play games through this technology too. You miss going out golfing with your buddies? Well, you can finally enjoy your favorite outdoor sport again.
2. Rest and Relaxation
There are also virtual reality options that can help seniors relax. If you’re someone who enjoys meditation, let virtual reality take you into the rainforest or plop you on a beach in the middle of the Caribbean. Not only can this help someone relax, but if they are struggling with anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, the benefits of this can be extremely valuable.
3. Real-world experiences
Probably the coolest way that virtual reality is being used for seniors is to let them visit their families. Some virtual reality allows seniors to watch their family gathering, for say a birthday party. They can see the food that was served, hear the conversations, and it will feel like they’re actually there with them. Technology can create scenes in the future or it can recreate things for the person’s past. Not only does this help with isolation but it also can help trigger memories for those who are experiencing memory loss.
VR is on the Rise
The use of virtual reality is on the rise, and not just for seniors. In 2018, the use of virtual reality is growing across the board. Industries like healthcare are using it. The United States military is using it. Real estate is also dipping into virtual reality, allowing people from across the country and even the globe to tour homes without having to visit them first.
Have you used VR for seniors before? Share your experience with us in the comments below!