Care home residents given a virtual glimpse of the future

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Residents at a Skelmersdale care home were given a glimpse of the future recently as they tried out virtual reality for the first time.

 

A staff member at Birch Green Care Home brought their virtual reality glasses into the home for residents to use as part of a special activity.

 

The use of such technology for care and support of residents has picked up among the care sector, particular in relation to reminiscence care for those with dementia.

 

So far, Springhill Care Group has introduced an industry leading ‘telehealth’ system to allow residents to communicate with friends, family or healthcare professions who cannot be with them over the internet.

 

Then a recent change saw the group introduce a new digital system to manage resident medication administration practices, initially at two of its homes.

 

Moving away from a paper-based system offered the chance to increase efficiency and reduce the risk of administrative errors.

 

With the success of the virtual reality glasses activity, which saw residents spend time experiencing an underwater scene with plenty of colourful fish and plant life, Birch Green is now planning to make the activity a regular part of its lifestyle programme. It is expected Springhill’s other homes in Accrington and Bristol will follow suit.

 

Phillippa McGrath, general manager at Birch Green Care Home, said: “The residents were totally amazed with the experience, commenting that they really felt like they were in the underwater scene and having a lot of fun.

 

Activities form a core part of life at Birch Green as we help residents to continue their hobbies and interests while under our roof, and it made sense to try this technology as it grows in popularity.

 

“We’ve never been afraid to embrace new technology and the opportunities it brings, and we can see a real benefit from virtual reality, helping residents experience new environments or perhaps trigger memories from their childhood.

 

“It has been a very beneficial activity and we’re looking forward to trying it again and sharing our experiences with colleagues in Springhill’s other homes.”

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