A new project from Alzheimers Taranaki explores the effects virtual reality (VR) has on people living with dementia. Click members, StaplesVR are creating the virtual reality experience.
Alzheimers Taranaki manager Helen Frank says this project is an extension of the work it completed in 2020.
“We did a study on how people with dementia react to virtual reality. We found not much research had been done on whether virtual reality is safe for people with dementia.”
She says during the study, they found positive benefits.
“We looked at how it impacted moods, sleeping patterns and other benefits. There were a lot of unexpected benefits. There were language developments. We created a programme designed especially for people with dementia and we were able to cast it to another screen so we could see what they saw. It also meant other people interacted with it as well. It didn’t just impact one person but quite a few.”
The new project will explore the VR-triggered memories and see if there are benefits on mood, language, memory and social cognition for both people living with dementia, and for older adults not living with dementia.
School Students will be working on this project and as part of their input, students from Francis Douglas Memorial College visited StaplesVR to gain insight on the VR creation process.
To read more on this project, find the NZ Herald article here