The lockdowns and resulting isolation of the last 12 months have been a significant challenge to many seniors in aged care facilities. Now some of those facilities are tackling that isolation and bringing joy to residents with immersive virtual reality (VR) experiences.
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SilVR Adventures, a Melbourne-based technology company, has been working with care teams across Australia and New Zealand during this period to enrich the quality of life of seniors through meaningful virtual reality (VR) tours and activities.
Initially offering in-facility VR sessions to groups, SilVR Adventures adapted to the needs of its customers and their residents when the pandemic hit.
“We launched a self-service option that care teams could deploy as and when they needed - no need for an outside facilitator, no integration with IT systems, and full customer support, says Colin Pudsey, CEO and Founder of SilVR Adventures.
“Seniors, especially those living in aged care homes, really need extra support in maintaining positive mental and physical health right now. We’re pleased we have been able to evolve our product and provide joyful group VR experiences in these difficult circumstances.”
The innovative new solution provides a wide range of virtual content and activities. An extensive library of guided virtual tours lets groups of up to 40 experience incredible adventures like swimming with dolphins, or gazing with wonder at the Northern Lights.
Participants can also gather together in a virtual cafe or theatre where they can chat, share stories, or watch a classic movie together.
The innovative technology can even transport participants to a childhood home or wedding venue, or let them reminisce with old photos and music in a relaxing virtual environment.
“To date, more than 2,000 seniors have taken part in our shared VR experiences, and we’re proud of the contribution we’ve made,” says Pudsey.
“By combining best-in-class VR headsets and content with an accessible and robust training and support program, we’re empowering care teams to create VR experiences that match their residents’ identities.”
In a customer satisfaction survey carried out in December 2020, 85% said that the SilVR Adventures solution helped significantly drive social engagement among residents. 88% of customers said SilVR Adventures helped stimulate memories and shared stories among residents, while 90% said residents really enjoyed revisiting special places from their past.