Virtual reality (VR) is becoming more accessible and has continued to become cheaper. As VRs popularity increases, we are seeing more and more research highlighting the amazing benefits of VR for seniors.
A study of 30 participants aged 60~95 years used VR applications that promote physical activities, motivate users, and provide entertainment for 15 minutes at a time, twice a week for a duration of 6 weeks. All participants indicated that it was a positive and enjoyable experience, as well as being useful, and easy to use.
Four other recent studies by (Czaja et al., 2019; Schlomann et al., 2019; Appel et al., 2020; Dermody et al., 2020) found benefits for seniors include: promoting of a healthy lifestyle, maintaining social contact, supporting rehabilitation, and aiding in everyday life tasks.
Keeping social contact is very important to people of any age, especially seniors, however the coronavirus pandemic has greatly restricted people’s ability to stay connected. Seniors are especially vulnerable to coronavirus, thus have many been more isolated than ever before. The effects of loneliness on seniors are also very serious, leading to increased risk of a variety of physical and mental conditions. VR application can combat the issues of loneliness as well as being very beneficial for seniors with dementia through the stimulating effects of VRs visual, auditory, and vestibular systems. In addition, VR promotes curiosity, critical thinking, and meaningful social interaction is which is excellent for the brain’s health and can even bring back memories which may have been forgotten.
Visit our blog at GIHC.com.au/blog for more. We provide the following services:
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1. Syed-Abdul, et al (2019) Virtual reality among the elderly: a usefulness and acceptance study from Taiwan https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-019-1218-8#citeas
2. Czaja et al., 2019). Designing for Older Adults: Principles and Creative Human Factors Approaches.
3. Gallaga (2022) https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/virtual-reality-in-eldercare/