Considering that it’s a long time staple of the science fiction genre, it’s no surprise that virtual reality is generally associated with entertainment – but it also has a place in education, art, and healthcare. It’s a technology with seemingly endless possibilities; in fact, virtual reality shows a great deal of promise when it comes to memory care.
As a senior living community and memory care provider, Yorkshire Village keeps up with the latest trends involving memory care and technology. In this article, we discuss the benefits that virtual reality can bring to the field of dementia care.
Though the most well-known symptom of dementia is memory loss, it also involves many behavioral changes, including aggression, mood swings, anxiety, and compulsive behaviors. Virtual reality can improve these symptoms by immersing patients in soothing, realistic, and controlled environments, such as beaches and forests. Some virtual reality companies report that these experiences can reduce stress levels by as much as 70%.
A Way Outside
Many people with dementia must stay within fully secured and locked facilities for their own safety, or they are unable to leave for other reasons, such as a loss of mobility. Virtual reality offers a door to the outside world for these individuals, allowing them to play golf, visit a far-away destination, or even attend a live parade. Virtual reality also offers a way for seniors with dementia to revisit places from their pasts, which can act as a form of reminiscence therapy.
Virtual reality doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor; in fact, it can be quite social. For example, an innovative new system out of MIT involves headsets that sync together, offering a virtual group experience. Given that seniors, especially those with dementia, are prone to becoming isolated and lonely, the potential social benefits of this technology are significant.
It’s an exciting time for dementia care, with all the possibilities that virtual reality and other forms of technology can bring. By providing a way to interact with the outside world, connect with other people, revisit the past, and improve quality of life, virtual reality is set to become an important tool in modern memory care and senior care as a whole.
Yorkshire Village is a beautiful and affordable senior living community in the Southern California area. To learn more about our person-centered approach to memory care, click here to contact us today.