Basically, modern technology and youth go hand in hand. But the elderly seems to be a unique group adopting the same. Today, VR or virtual reality is being used to improve the lives of seniors across the world. It helps improve their mental health, deal with loneliness, and transport the same to farther places without having to leave their home.
VR can deal with Feelings of Loneliness
A Tokyo-based researcher, Kenta Toshima is testing VR to help the residents of nursing homes to visit their previous places and mark the locations on their list. He is capturing VR experiences which are customized with his 8K 360 camera.
Toshima was busy in a care facility when the project came. An elderly patient wanted to visit her favorite orchard and she mentioned it to him. Toshima visited her plum orchard and took her pictures. But he found that it was not easy to take videos and photos as per her memories. He then used a 360 camera to create a more beautiful and wider picture of locations to help patients explore with VR headset.
Usually, VR experiences are provided alone. So, several patients used this technology at the same time when the program was held in a nursing home. Sharing their experience and feelings makes the feeling of community to deal with the feelings of loneliness.
VR to Counteract Social Isolation
According to studies, loneliness and isolation are worse than smoking or obesity, especially for elderly patients. Long-term isolation can cause damage similar to smoking 15 cigarettes daily. This way Alcove by AARP Innovation Labs has been developed to work on social connection and family. It bridges the distance between families and encourages people to experience new things and places that they cannot do due to time, cost or mobility issues.