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29 / Mar / 2021

For seniors, the benefits of virtual reality go beyond just entertainment. A research from from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Age Lab found older adults who used a VR system were more likely to feel positive about their health and emotions, less likely to be depressed, and less likely to feel socially isolated compared with those viewing similar content on TV. VR applications, if properly deployed & maintained can help participants see faraway places, surround themselves with animals or nature - and, in some cases, even “stand” in familiar 360-degree settings such as a childhood street or schoolyard.

As people age, their brain activity tends to slow. In order to keep the brain active and responsive, it needs to be stimulated daily which can be achieved by introducing unique experiences using VR. The experiences range from walking through a jungle path to sitting in on a jazz concert at a speakeasy. It allows them to not only exercise their brain, but “travel” across the world and relive memories within the walls of a retirement or nursing home.

VR can be a great tool to promote socializing amongst elderly. One way to promote socialization by incorporating group virtual reality in nursing homes. Several people can put on different VR headsets and travel across the world or participate in events together. It makes it easier to socialize because participants don't have to directly see the person they're interacting with, but at the same time still bond over a shared experience - similar to talking to someone online without seeing their face.

Caregivers can also reap the benefits of using VR. It is an incredibly useful staff training tool, particularly if you're working with people who are living with dementia, because there are VR programs designed to help understand what it feels like to live with dementia. It is also beneficial to track and analyze the therapeutic outcomes for the elderly.


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17 / Mar / 2021

Post Covid patients, especially those affected seriously by it, are expected to have higher needs for physical, psychological and cognitive rehabilitation. Virtual Reality (VR) administers fast, tailor-made rehabilitation at a distance, and offers a solution for the impending surge of demand for rehabilitation after COVID-19. The immersion of VR may increase therapy adherence and may distract the patient from experienced fatigue and anxiety.

An intensive care admission is a fearsome experience, especially when a patient is supported by mechanical ventilation as is common in COVID-19. Depression occurs in approximately 30% of recovering patients, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 10–50% of patients and anxiety in 70% or Post-Intensive Care Syndrome after coronavirus infection or {PICS} patients. Psychological therapy targeting these indications can be offered through VR. VR rehabilitation as part of telemedicine solutions has several advantages compared to traditional rehabilitation. First, considering our society's continuing need for social distancing, therapy can be given at a distance. Second, VR allows therapists to treat patients simultaneously. While therapists must monitor sessions at a distance in some cases, live support is generally not required, increasing patients' autonomy and reducing the workload of therapists. What makes VR particularly different is that it provides its users with a 3D immersive environment. The immersion makes therapy more fun and reduces distraction from the external environment. Both might increase therapy adherence and engagement. Besides, VR may serve to distract patients from experienced fatigue and anxiety which would otherwise hinder their ability to move.

The COVID-19 crisis has generated a need to expand telehealth technologies. Embedding VR in virtual care platforms would assist in spreading of VR therapy, both for post-COVID-19 patients in the present and possibly for other patients with similar rehabilitation needs in the future.


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