All of us dream of enjoying a long and healthy retirement filled with travel and visits to the grandkids, but the reality is quite different for a lot of people. Many are simply not physically capable of living out their golden years constantly on the go, while others are suffering from dementia and other forms of memory loss that prevent them from enjoying the freedoms that others take for granted. Some Canadian companies and healthcare facilities are trying to change all that by taking advantage of the recent breakthroughs in Virtual Realty technology as reported by the CBC.
One organization in particular, OpenLab based out of the Toronto General Hospital, is making some real positive progress towards changing the lives of dementia patients through the use of VR. They envision a future where seniors can visit their grandkids in virtual reality, return to their childhood home for a nostalgic trip, or stop by a place they’ve always wanted to visit. These types of trips haven’t been possible for dementia sufferers until now because of the potential for them to become lost or injured if left without supervision.
The potential therapeutic benefits of such a program are obvious as it would help seniors confined to retirement homes due to mental or physical limitations to resume a happy and rewarding life. There are some drawbacks such as the tendency for some to experience sickness when immersed in a virtual world due to disorientation, but as long as these things are monitored it has a lot of potential. It’s also a very real possibility that further advancements in VR technology will eliminate these issues in the near future. These really are exciting times for both young and old alike.