Imagine swimming idly through the ocean surrounded by a myriad of fish and sealife, or racing down a mountain on skis as snow swirls around you – all from the comfort of your home.
Christadelphian Aged Care introduced virtual reality into its Gladesville Home this year to open up residents to new experiences or relive ones from their past.
Recreation staff from Ashburn House gave residents the opportunity to use virtual reality as part of their lifestyle program.
Lifestyle Coordinator Tara Plaisance said research had shown virtual reality could reduce social isolation, anxiety, wandering
and depression in some older residents.
“Many of our residents no longer have the freedom to go on one of our resident bus trips, let alone go on a holiday to Bali,” she said.
“The virtual reality experience brings all these opportunities back and more.”
Virtual reality goggles are fitted onto the residents, which transports them into a live action and sound 360 degree experience previously out of their reach.
The residents experienced scuba diving, skiing, canoeing, a Bali holiday, an orchestra and circus.
“Residents who were introduced to virtual reality reacted wonderfully with gasps of delight, and pointed out fish in the ocean or were surprised by tricks during the cirque de Soleil experience,” Tara said.