Since the pandemic began, seniors have had to learn to do things differently with the help of technology. From fitness classes to book clubs, and technology tutoring, many older adults have learned to embrace technology. But can technology also help to improve mental health, too? This post looks at how virtual reality may help seniors feel better emotionally and physically.
What Virtual Reality Can Do
In today’s world, travel is more complicated than it used to be. There are different restrictions, laws, and mandates that vary from state to state and country to country. For older adults, this issue can be compounded by mobility problems, financial issues, and other health concerns. Virtual reality (VR) eliminates each of these problems by bringing experiences to you at home. Attend events, take a trip to Egypt, or go on a hike without leaving your house.
How VR Helps Seniors
A senior community in Florida will be working with the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab to find out if virtual reality will help strengthen relationships, improve mood, and help the residents become more receptive to technology. Research published by other academic labs has shown that virtual reality can reduce pain, and anxiety. It can also improve mood. The current study Stanford is working on will also look at if virtual reality helps reduce feelings of isolation. VR systems can be set up so that multiple people can use them at the same time.
A pilot study conducted by a company called MyndVR found that seniors who used virtual reality headsets were calmer and more alert after the experience. Other companies are exploring whether VR can help Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients. They have created virtual tours customized by families of loved ones.
The Importance of Engagement
Although the use of VR technology for seniors is still in its early stages, the technology highlights how important engaging an older loved one is. Whether you’re there in person or can only appear via a video call, engaging your loved one helps reduce feelings of isolation, which can take a toll on physical and mental health.
If you’re searching for a companion caregiver to help a loved one in Orange County or Newport Beach, CA stay engaged, reach out to Optimal Senior Care Solutions. Our staff of care experts will be happy to assist you.