My dad, age 89, is wheelchair-bound and confined to an assisted living facility due to the amount of nursing care he needs for his deteriorating health conditions. Like most of the elderly who have lost the freedom to travel, hike, and enjoy other favorite activities, he’s often depressed and miserable despite getting frequent visitors. Virtual Reality experiences could give him an escape by taking him anywhere he wants to go. He could go “home” to visit the town where he grew up. He could attend concerts. He could explore museums. He could hike through the mountains again without leaving his chair.
See the reaction of another elderly gentleman when he was given a Virtual Reality opportunity. It was produced by Bettvr with Age, which provides VR films created to improve the quality of life of seniors and others with limited mobility.
Motivated to help my dad and others like him, I contacted a friend of mine who owns Aegean Home Care, a caregiving agency in the Tampa area. I made a PowerPoint presentation that explains how Virtual Reality experiences not only allow the elderly to escape their limitations but also help slow dementia and reduce pain. Take a look:
When I showed this to my friend and his business partner and took them into Virtual Reality experiences with a simple Google Cardboard headset, they became very excited about its potential as an add-on service for their agency. Since then, we’ve been researching it and meeting to plan how to get this new service started. (BTW, we’re seeking to hire a VR Activity Director; know anyone?)
In upcoming posts, I will share some of our research. Next: A side-by-side comparison of the new Oculus Go and the newest version of Google Daydream headsets from the perspective of serving the needs of the elderly.
© 2018 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries