Care home residents across the UK are experiencing captivating, personalised virtual environments to improve their mental and social wellbeing with the launch of innovative
VR technology built specifically for the care sector and supported by Alzheimer’s Society’s innovation programme.
With Recreo VR residents can experience environments that reflect their own personal histories, hobbies they’ve enjoyed and places of interest from their past, such as favourite holiday destinations. Bespoke content can be requested by individuals, promoting person-centred care and empowerment while helping to stimulate memories. The easy-to-use headsets and software, which come with full training and support for staff, have proven successful in trials, with 90 out of 100 people living with dementia enjoying their experience.
Feedback from residents and care home staff has been hugely positive across the trials as Danielle Savage Care Home Manager at Wrawby Hall said: “To see the smiles on their faces was just wonderful. We can’t recommend Recreo VR enough.”
“A lot of what the residents were seeing on the headset prompted memories for our residents, which they were then able to discuss and reminisce about. Such a truly wonderful experience. My heart could burst and I did have a few tears, it’s amazing our residents can have these wonderful experiences.”
Founders Alex and Sam were inspired to create Recreo VR after seeing the transformation a journey to a familiar beach had on Sam’s grandmother towards the end of her life.
Joyce, who lived with dementia and had been non-verbal for a long time, began to smile and engage in conversation during the trip. This experience is what Sam and Alex aim to replicate using VR technology, as they said: “We believe that virtual reality has the power to transform the lives of residents, build social connections and enhance their quality of life. We want to empower care organisations to embrace new technology and create experiences in their settings that have a noticeable impact on both residents, their families and staff that go beyond the traditional approaches.”
Recreo VR, is supported by Alzheimer’s Society’s Accelerator Programme, a service that champions dementia innovation.
Simon Lord, Head of Innovation at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We’ve been blown away by the impact Recreo VR has had on people living with dementia and the incredible feedback from the care sector. We believe in the power of technology to help improve and personalise care for people with dementia, which is why we chose to support the founders to develop the product and use our testing panels to help shape the experiences. It’s vital that those living with the condition are able to still do things that bring them fulfilment, for as long as possible. And that’s exactly what products like Recreo VR can provide.”
The headset, which was rated comfortable by 97% of residents during trials, is lightweight and counterweighted for increased comfort. When it is turned on the Recreo VR app immediately loads and is easy to use, with sessions led by carers making it accessible for residents to engage with. The software doesn’t require the use of controllers and difficult interfaces, reducing barriers for engagement for both carers and the people they support.
Recreo VR creates experiences using strict filming criteria to ensure the environments are suitable for older people, and the reminiscence content has been co-designed with individuals living with dementia.
To discover more about Recreo VR and its ability to enhance the lives of residents and empower caregivers visit recreovr.co.uk.