As technologies of the last couple years have advanced by light years, senior living will perhaps benefit the most.
By 2020 the U.S. Census Bureau projects that nearly 15% of the population will be over 65. Within 10 years, 1 in 5 people will be over 65.
Never before in history have we had a senior population of this magnitude. The strength of numbers brings an ever-increasing investment in the care, comfort, health and daily lives of seniors.
Virtual reality has the potential to transform the way seniors live, interact and enjoy life.
Strap on your VR headset as we delve into how virtual reality improves the lives of seniors.
The Physical Benefits
VR has the potential to help seniors stay active in the comfort of their own homes.
Games that require the player to use a controller help keep fine motor skill sharp longer.
Moving side to side, tilting and even looking around help keep seniors mobile.
For those younger seniors who need to get motivated to stay active and keep active, VR systems can be great motivators.
Riding your stationary bike or speed walking the treadmill becomes an adventure with VR, motivating you to work out longer.
A study performed in Denmark showed that even seniors in nursing homes were motivated to move as much as possible when introduced to VR.
The Social Benefits
Older seniors and those confined to nursing home or their own home can get very lonely.
Nurses or family come by when they can. But it can never be enough.
Loneliness sets in. With it arrives depression and declining health.
VR helps connect seniors with others in a virtual setting taking social media to the next level
We can argue all day long that it’s not the same. But for those who are completely isolated, this reunion with the social experience can mean everything.
Researchers are currently exploring how they can expand the social benefits of VR to senior living.
The Psychological Benefits
Over 100 clinical studies support the positive outcomes for patients using VR technology.
Among them, chronic pain suffers felt reprieve when immersed in a virtual setting.
Since the physical cause of the pain had not gone away, we can only call this an amazing psychological treatment for pain.
At the University of Southern California, researchers used graduated exposure therapy through VR in order to relieve Post Traumatic Stress symptoms.
In other words, under the watchful eye of a doctor, those with PTSD were exposed to the sources of their trauma in small but increasing doses.
This helped them overcome their fears in a safe and controlled environment.
Virtual reality has the potential to help prevent and treat depression, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, addiction and a wide range of behavioral health challenges.
Changing the Way We Think of Senior Living
As our parents age, it’s important to do what we can to help them live a quality life.
Virtual reality has the potential to keep seniors healthier and happier physically, socially and psychologically.
If you’d like to learn more about helping your senior live a more quality life, reach out.