17th March 2020
The Startup Fighting Elderly Isolation With Virtual Reality
A startup specialising in group virtual reality (VR) therapy and social engagement has introduced a new way to tackle isolation in Australian aged-care facilities.
The Melbourne-based SilVR Adventures has been running guided communal VR sessions that encourage social interaction for groups of seniors in care homes across Victoria. Its new offering is a self-service subscription available in ANZ, that allows facilities to carry out as many sessions as desired for an unlimited number of residents – all without the need for an external guide.
“Our goal is to increase the happiness of care home residents and tackle the isolation many of them feel on a daily basis,’ says Colin Pudsey, CEO of SilVR Adventures
“We can transport residents to a treasured memory from their youth, or even create new memories of adventure and wonder. But the greatest feature of our sessions is that they bring people together in a shared experience and sense of purpose.”
After taking part in these group sessions, we’ve found that residents have more confidence to take part in other activities together, share memories and stories.”
The launch of the new service comes as the escalating coronavirus pandemic means seniors may be asked to remain in their homes for weeks or even months for their own safety.
The new self-service subscription includes the headsets, exclusive software to link together, training and ongoing support care homes need to deliver their own programmes of virtual reality-based therapy and entertainment for up to 10 residents at a time.
SilVR Adventures also provides access to its library of continuously updated VR content curated especially for seniors. The programmes are developed to cover three key experience areas: reminiscence therapy, world travel and family bonding, so even visiting family members can share an experience with their loved one.
The company has been delivering group VR sessions at the facilities of some of the biggest aged-care providers in the country. Residents have responded so well that some providers are looking to introduce their own in-house VR programmes with the flexibility to run sessions more frequently.
“It’s amazing to see the impact our group VR sessions have had with participants, and great that providers are working to improve the wellbeing of their residents by embracing new technology,” says Pudsey.
What participants say:
“That was so overwhelming, to go from sitting here and now we can go anywhere. I can’t even begin to think of where I want to go. How can you make that decision when you say you can take us wherever we want to go? That was magnificent.” – Maree, 85
“I forget everything in the last 50 years. What I talk to my wife about, everything I forget. But I’ll never forget you. I’ll never forget this. I’ll never forget today. This was amazing. Thank you.” – Mario, 88
Contact: [email protected] | www.silvradventrures.com.au | +61 400 441 944 | Follow @SilVRAdventures