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How Virtual Reality is changing the lives of those suffering with Dementia

In the ever evolving world we live in technology is playing a huge role in society, especially within the health care sector. Lately, professionals in the field have been exploring ways in which a specific type of technology could support the future of home care services – Virtual Reality (VR).

Care Indeed is a 24/7 home care specialist with caregivers in Seattle, Bellevue and a variety of different locations within Northern California. They have recently been using Virtual Reality I their training strategies, thanks to a collaboration with Strivr, so that their caregivers can absorb as much information as possible.

So how is VR being utilised in this circumstance?

Caregivers at Care Indeed are regularly deployed to support those who are suffering with Dementia. As this is a progressive disease the symptoms and behaviours of those diagnosed are constantly changing, which can often be challenging for those trying to provide live in home care. By using VR the caregivers are able to understand the illness on all levels, meaning they get full exposure to what to expect in the worst case scenarios.

How does this particular technology support learning strategies?

It’s widely known that there are several different learning styles that individuals adopt when they are being educated. Depending on what theory or study you’re reading, people have catagorised them in a number of ways, but to keep it simple we have broken them down into three main styles…

1.Auditory – those that learn better from listening
2.Visual – those that learn better from seeing
3.Tactile – those that learn better from doing

VR creates an environment that caters for all of the different learning styles allowing the learners to retain as much information as physically possible. In this scenario the training driven by Strivr and provided by Care Indeed, allows their caregivers to experience the different handling of victims of dementia within real time situations. By wearing a VR headset the caregiver can trial positive and negative states when dealing with patient. This helps them to adjust their level of care on the reaction of the patient.

Some of the advantages of using VR when training caregivers to deal with patients who have dementia are:

1. Affordable learning as caregivers will be able to practise before they go into the field.
2. Great for visual learners, and it will also support those who are tactile and auditory learners.
3. It’s provided in a risk free environment to where both the caregiver and patient are safe guarded, whilst the caregiver is training.
4. Better learning retention as learners will be able to practise their skills first hand.

Whilst VR technology isn’t exactly new to the market, this may be the first time it has been used for helping those with Dementia. Care Indeed have obviously invested a lot of time into making sure that their caregivers are prepared for all situations, offering the ultimate level of patient support for those who need live in home care.

by: Care Indeed

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