What is Virtual Reality (VR)?
Virtual Reality (VR) is a technology that uses a headset device (similar to ski goggles) that allows you to watch a video all around you as you move your head in different directions.
For example, if you look up, you may see a blue sky and if you look down a sandy beach, with the waves at your feet. With the VR headset on, you could feel as if you were at the opera or out for a hike in the woods. People often feel like they really are in a different place. The possibilities are endless.
What will I see?
There are 3 types environments for you to choose from:
Nature - You are in a forest with colourful trees, or on a beach with the waves crashing at your feet.
Sporting Events - You are in Central park watching a baseball game among friends.
Music & Dance - You are sitting in the crowd at the theatre watching the royal ballet..
It is possible for your caregiver to view what you are seeing in VR on a second device (like an iPad) during the session.
While your caregiver does not need to be present, they are welcome to try the VR experience too.
While this is a low-risk study, we understand that you may have some safety concerns. Rest assured that your health care team is aware of your specific case and has recommended that you participate in this study.
Prior to the session, your nurse will check in with you to ensure that your participation will be safe and comfortable. Of course, if you feel any discomfort you may stop watching VR at any time.
We have completed over 50 trials in several long-term care homes and hospitals. Of the many participants aged 80 and over, few had difficulty or discomfort while wearing the headset.
The weight of the device is evenly distributed across three elastic straps. The soft, foam pads rest on the forehead and leave plenty of room for glasses. The headset is also compatible with hearing aids.
Feel free to wear the headset as long as you would like. Most participants watch the video for about 20 minutes.
Of course, because your participation is voluntary, you choose may stop participating at any time.
How can this help me?
We hope that Virtual Reality can provide a therapeutic escape for people with limited mobility. Many patients say that VR eases their tension, helps them relax, and improves their mood.
A growing body of scientific research shows positive clinical outcomes from using VR in managing chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and increasing empathy. We anticipate that VR will become a valuable tool in the healthcare industry.