If you thought kids spent too much time on their technological devices, they aren’t alone.
At the Miramichi Lodge long-term care home, in Pembroke, seniors are the ones spending their time on technological devices. The lodge, operated by the County of Renfrew and City of Pembroke, has recently introduced the use of virtual reality in their recreational programs.
This technology allows users to put on a ski mask-like headband which displays video game images. Users can then move around as if they were inside a virtual world. Nancy Lemire, who is a program supervisor at Miramichi Lodge, mentioned that the feedback has been very positive. “Residents who live here are no longer able to go out and so we thought we’d bring some world in to them” she adds. With the device, residents can go on virtual adventures like a safari in Africa or even fly over the grand canyon in a hot air balloon, “the sky is the limit” Lemire described.
Lemire says that the virtual reality device helps residents engage and initiate conversation. It gets them talking about what they see and it sparks old memories. When talking about other positive effects it brings, Lemire states that it distracts them from certain worries or anything that could be troubling them.
Out of 166 residents who live at the Miramichi Lodge, 30 to 40 of them have tried the virtual reality and Lemire mentions that those numbers will only get bigger.