Hertfordshire based organisations, Tribemix and Quantum Care, have developed a series of virtual reality experiences that take people living with dementia out of their residential care homes and away to a range of relaxing and nostalgic places. The immersive 3D scenes include the beach, a forest and a luxury yacht from where they can watch dolphins playing around a coral reef.
Nathan Burton, a deputy manager for Quantum Care, explains, “The results have been astonishing, with marked positive changes in behaviour after the residents have enjoyed the experiences. We have used a wellbeing indicator evaluation tool for assessing the well-being of residents before, during and after the virtual reality sessions. The results have been very positive, and the carers have noticed a big difference in the behaviours of the residents involved.”
The project has already gained industry recognition as Tribemix and Quantum Care have been nominated for an Outstanding Innovation Award in Dementia Care at the National Dementia Care Awards.
The project began when Tribemix Managing Director, Alex Smale, wanted to help his elderly neighbours to get outside after becoming isolated due to disability, “Our friends, Stan and Dulcie, are 99 and 94 years old respectively. Over the past two years, we watched them go from active people walking into town to do their shopping, to losing their confidence and never leaving the house. When we began developing in VR for our commercial clients early this year, I thought ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could take Stan and Dulcie to the beach?’. So I created a virtual reality experience to do just that. This led to a conversation with a friend at Quantum Care. They were fortunately very forward thinking, and understood what we were trying to do. The results have been amazing and it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever been fortunate enough to do.”
Tribemix is now working with Quantum Care to roll the project out across their care home group ahead of rolling it out across the industry. They are also working on developing the technology into training to allow carers and relatives to understand what it feels like to live with dementia.
For more information, please contact Tribemix at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01462 623929