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Nursing homes use virtual reality technology to help residents deal with isolation-New Brunswick today

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To help New Brunswick residents in New Brunswick deal with social isolation, Parker Life in New Brunswick’s landing lane incorporates a virtual reality (VR) platform called the Lendever.

Somerset, Monroe, Stonegate and River Road also have Parker Life homes. The home has undergone changes to meet the needs of the occupants during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the incorporation of virtual reality technology.

Judy Colette Miller, Director of Planning and Innovation at Parker Life, said: “We know about VR. It’s been around for a long time. We’ve been thinking about it because it’s becoming more popular among aging services.”

Colette Miller says the pandemic really accelerated her efforts to use the service.

“We contacted two well-known companies and inspected both products,” she said. “In fact, we had all the recreation directors send headsets to all the different sites so that they could actually use the equipment. Before we chose, they demoed for us. He did. ”

The company chose Rendever for Rendever and MyndVR. It was to increase the opportunities for Parker Life residents to have a positive experience.

Since using it, there has been a wonderful response from the residents.

“From the moment they start using it, they must say they really enjoyed it for really different reasons,” Colette Miller said. “There were restrictions, but I was able to make a virtual visit.”

For obvious reasons, the inhabitants were unable to carry out many group activities, but they were spaced apart in the rooms and were able to have a collaborative experience through VR technology.

“They went on a trip to London and elsewhere,” she said. “I used it in a group setting, but I also made a lot of one-on-one visits.”

Parker Life, especially at Landing Lane’s house, made a lot of one-on-one visits.

“They had a particular resident with hospice service, and she had been to the Grand Canyon long ago, which was one of her favorite experiences,” she said. “They were able to bring her back to the Grand Canyon through VR.”

Landing Lane Parker Life Residents Using Rendever Headset

VR technology used to assist residents with terminal illness and cognitive decline is reminiscent of good times in life.

Parker Life in Landing Lane, a demented person, was also taken to a waterfall and museum during his VR visit.

“What’s interesting is that she was very interactive,” she said. “She was pointing. She was gesturing. She was moving with technology, so they were very excited to see her engaging in a different way than anyone else. was doing.”

Tara Cunningham is the activity director of Parker Life in Landing Lane and has seen a very positive response from the population.

“We started using virtual reality in June 2020,” said Cunningham. “That was what our technology director Judy had informed us. We all had different meetings to get more information about it. Since then it has been a huge success. Has been stored. “

During the pandemic process, she saw the inhabitants suffering from loneliness, boredom, and sadness as they left their families.

“Virtual reality gave them a sense of belonging again,” she said. Cunningham grew up with his grandparents and has always been interested in elderly care.

“I did a lot of volunteer work, and my college internship also took care of the elderly,” she said.

She plans to get her home resident to use VR technology even after the pandemic is “finished.” “It’s not only really great for travel and culture, but there’s a lot to it. Another great thing is sensory simulation,” she said.

Residents can use VR technology to connect with others, even in the elderly who are non-verbal and unable to communicate their needs.

As a recreation supervisor, she manages the day-to-day activities that take place at home. However, due to the pandemic, the inhabitants challenged her to stay connected with her family.

She has set up many video communication schedules in Facetime and Skype, in addition to window and outdoor visits.

Parker staff assists residents with technology

Lendever’s Jake trained the Landing Lane staff and answered all the questions.

This technology is set up on tablets that sync with the headset.

This allows the activity director to send the video to the user.

If the resident is unfamiliar with the headset, you can start by just looking at the tablet and then slowly bring the headset in front of you and secure it with a strap.

“We started about five years ago,” said Kyleland, CEO of Lendever. “We have a mission.”

He saw the effects of social isolation on his grandmother, so he was always interested in helping older people cope with the isolation of aging.

“The data show that the health effects are as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, or the risk of dementia is increased, stroke can be increased by 32%, and heart disease can be increased by 29%. It shows that there is sex, “he said.

He wants to guide the world to this special demographic through this technology. “Our basic guideline is that the foundation of relationships is a shared positive experience,” he said.

The silvery lining of this pandemic in his view is that he does not have to explain how harmful social isolation is.

Even if millions of people are vaccinated with COVID-19 and things return to normal, the impact of quarantine on older people cannot be forgotten.

Case fatality rate of COVID-19 in the elderly is about 12-25%, and social isolation increases the case fatality rate of this population by up to 30%.

The magic of VR is that older people can connect with others.

The company also launched a connectivity corner where users can sit on virtual coaches, look at each other as avatars, and continue to communicate with each other after the experience is over.

“VR is very bright in very dark places,” he said.

The company is close to 300 communities across North America and also works with healthcare systems and hospice organizations.

In the future, the company may sell its products directly to consumers other than nursing homes, but they are very happy to work with the senior care industry so far.

They are conducting research funded by the National Institute on Aging to study the effects of virtual family interactions.

“We have a family platform where families can upload old family photos and videos. But they also have their own 360 ° camera to shoot things like birthday parties and weddings. Yes, loved ones can put on their headsets and feel like they’re at an event, “he said.

There is also Reminiscence Journey, the Life Story Builder. Here you can recreate someone’s life story by location, such as your childhood home or vacation destination.

“You can bring them there in VR … and recreate those moments,” he said.

When the family does this together, it improves the emotional health of the elderly. It also reduces the caregiver’s guilt. The ongoing research is currently in Phase 2 of the clinical trial and has expanded to 12 locations across the United States.

If a home wants to get technology, all they have to do is reach out. Landing Lane’s Parker Life is one of the company’s most active users.

“Any senior living community can use the rendezvous,” he said.

Sources

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2/ https://newbrunswicktoday.com/2021/07/24/nursing-homes-use-virtual-reality-tech-to-help-residents-cope-with-isolation/

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