Initial research suggests virtual reality can be an aid for those experiencing symptoms of dementia

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Residents at a luxury Chorley retirement village have taken part in a virtual reality trial which is set to revolutionise care for older people and those with dementia.

Start up virtual reality company PrimeVR visited The Grange, an assisted living community inside Buckshaw Retirement Village, providing residents with virtual reality experiences including The Northern Lights, Buckingham Palace and an Ocean Safari.

The session was used as part of research from the company to discover the impact virtual reality has on older people. All participants reported that they enjoyed the experience and would do it again.

Penni Brown, Chief Executive, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to trial the latest technologies with our residents and gauge how successful it would be to introduce as a regular activity.

 “All of our participants really enjoyed the sessions. It allowed them to experience things which they may not have had the opportunity to in the past or to revisit places of interest.

“Our main priority is to provide the best quality of life for residents across Buckshaw Retirement Village. Virtual reality allows us to open the world, provide opportunities and experiences for our community.

“I am very excited about the use of VR in older person’s care. The trial was on people who live in our assisted living facility who are mostly very independent, however, I think that sessions like this could also provide therapies for those with physical disabilities or those who experience some of the symptoms of dementia.”

Stuart Gent, founder and director of PrimeVR said: “The session at The Grange and the feedback we gained was fantastic. We wanted to see how we would provide the care sector with enriching activities with an aim to develop this into a therapeutic exercise.

“There has been some initial research to suggest that VR can be used as a distraction from pain and used as an aid for those with memory loss or those who experience distress as a symptom of dementia.

 

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