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Virtual Reality Transports Patients to a World of Play

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We came across the best video today and just had to share it. Just click the image below to watch the video:  

Not only did this video have us laughing right along with the participants, but it also really drove home what we’ve been saying about Virtual Reality Therapy. The video participants may not have been part of a scientific study but their gut feelings were:

You can experience total freedom

Made me feel like superman

Dreamlike quality

A terrific escape for people in hospital beds

People who are stuck in beds… would probably make them get better

It would be tremendously therapeutic for some people

VR is in itself is an adventure

All of these comments bolster our efforts to get Virtual Reality Therapy or Thera-Wii games into all hospitals, PT clinics, retirement communities and nursing homes.

While video games are generally seen as childish, older gamers make up a significant portion of the industry’s consumers. In a 2016 study by the American Association of Retired Persons and the Entertainment Software Association, 38 percent of Americans age 50 and older said they play video games. Half of the respondents in the 2016 study who said they play online games said they play more online games now — on a range of platforms, including mobile, console and computer — than they did five years ago.

The ability to transport yourself into a totally different environment and try new things without ever leaving your room is just one major benefit to VR. Thanks to technology advances and some really creative developers, we can use VR for more than entertainment.

Just about a year ago, Fully Loaded Electronics partnered with Reimagine Well. Reimagine Well allows patients and their families to experience traditionally terrifying treatments virtually. If a patient is showing some anxiety around having a Radiation treatment or an MRI (there is a reason they provide panic buttons when entering the MRI), Reimagine Well uses VR to let the patient explore the procedure ahead of time and become familiar with the sights and sounds they will experience. We also have a virtual infusionarium (virtual swimming with dolphins while undergoing dialysis? Yes, please!) that entertains and distracts during long treatment sessions.

Our VR solutions also include the Thera-Wii for some inspired wii-hab! The Thera-Wii (the original Nintendo Wii) engages participants in a variety of physical movements to give a wide range of possible therapy options. Hospitals, rehab facilities and nursing/retirement homes have so much fun with this option. If you enjoyed the Seniors Trying VR video above, you’ll love watching a retirement home bowling tournament or dance competition. It’s hard not to feel the joy when participants start bonding over shared entertainment and experiences.

Virtual Reality may have started out as a way to take gaming to another level, but medical and other professionals have quickly realized the benefits that leaving behind the norm, if only for a little bit, provides. Mental health professionals are using VR for exposure therapy and PTSD treatment, schools are using VR to practice life skills; even correctional facilities are using virtual reality as a behavior incentive program.

We are just scratching the surface with what can be done with Virtual Reality. If the reaction of the folks in the intro video is any indication, there will be plenty more creative implementations that will help in a variety of areas. Even if you use VR in your hospital or rehab facility for entertainment only, the joy experienced (for those participating and those watching) is well worth the investment.

While there is a serious side to VR Therapy, our favorite use might be that it turns participants into bonafide ninjas and trick pilots. For a moment, a patient gets to put on the headset and be transported to a place where reality is on pause and be totally immersed in play. Using any of our Virtual Reality bundles often results in tension relieving laughter and joy.

Our fully loaded Virtual Reality systems come loaded with games and ready to play. All surfaces are wipeable and can be thoroughly disinfected between players so you're spreading fun, not germs. No internet is required. We have done all the set up, we supply a laminated "how-to" sheet to make using the system easy, and our friendly and knowledgeable tech support team are here to help you with any training or questions. We'll ensure your staff and patients enjoy the maximum benefits VR has to offer.

We invite you to reach out today to explore which VR bundle will work best in your setting. We're happy to help!

Rachelle “Shelly” Lee
(425) 582-3173

Benefits of Gaming Seniors Virtual Reality

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