Seeing good initial results from several test runs, a move to develop virtual reality for elderly people as a means to help them feel relaxed is currently underway and may soon be made available.
Harnessing the technology of virtual reality for elderly people
She seems to be enjoying it and has already tried it five times. 103 year old Virginia Anderlini used to sit alone in a sofa of her San Francisco elderly-care home, until one day she was introduced to Dr. Sonia Kim who gave her the opportunity to take those virtual reality trips that made her happy.
On this very recent visit by Dr. Kim, Anderlini was really looking forward to her next virtual reality adventure and as expected, Dr. Kim starts to place a virtual reality headset over her eyes.
Anderlini began to giggle as she was transported into another world and this time a sunset view of the horizon of a Hawaiian beach, surrounded by glistening rays of dusk and as she looks up she sees the blades of leaves from towering palm trees.
She beckons to her son, who was seated close by and tells him, “Terry, you’ve got to see this too.”
Feelings of self-pity and low self-esteem
For Kim, being a virtual reality entrepreneur gives her a sense of fulfillment with her hopes of helping improve quality of life for the elderly. She envisions that her VR program – one example of which was the Hawaiian sunset beach environment – called Aloha VR, may be a way to help people relax, instead of spending long hours sitting in front of the TV.
Kim also said that even for unhappy people, virtual reality may be a way to provide them an escape into a world that may somehow allow them to divert their attention from their hurt and pain.
Studies show that many elderly people, especially those cared for in assisted-living homes are often at risk of depression, brought about by feelings of being left alone. Also, because of their limited physical capabilities, they begin to feel sorry for themselves.
This paved the way for Kim to initially establish Once Caring Team back in 2014, where staffers call seniors on the phone to check their status and also take down notes on medication and doctors’ appointments.
So with virtual reality for elderly people, we might soon have the ability to make it available for all.
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I have a pretty fast paced life. I'm fairly successful and travel a lot. Come from a really good family and love to spend the time I have with them and friends.