Seniors visit brave new worlds
RIDGEHAVEN Retirement Complex has introduced a 3D virtual reality headset intended to provide comfort and stimulation to residents.
The VR headset allows them to experience African safaris, underwater diving, guided tours, and more from a 3D perspective.
It's designed to trigger memories, emotions and relaxation in residents.
Ridgehaven resident Alan McDonald was once a member of the Navy and used to outfit sailors for diving missions, although he never got the chance to go underwater himself.
Though he was hesitant to try the VR out at first, once the goggles went on and a simulated underwater environment began playing, he was mesmerised.
"I've always wanted to do it, and now I have,” Alan said.
A typical session involves five to six minutes in the VR program, with staff on-hand to guide them through the program.
Ridgehaven Project Committee member Connie Forsyth said using the program led to a notable demeanour change in residents affected by dementia.
"They don't always react the way you think they will, but they become more happy and relaxed,” Mrs Forsyth said.
The project was purchased via a Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal grant with funding from the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation and a donation from the Monto Quilters.
Ridgehaven is currently looking for volunteers to assist with the program.
For more information, call 41661082.