Over the past year, PramaLife have been planning, learning and implementing the use of a VR headset into their community. The initial purpose of utilising the VR headset was to give people living with memory loss, Dementia or Parkinson's, the opportunity to reminisce, with a fully immersive experience, where they are able to go back to their home town, or their favourite holiday or even explore the other features that the VR headset has to offer, such as 'attending a traditional Indian wedding'. The opportunity to reminisce or to have new experiences can have a large impact on someone who may be feeling limited due to a diagnosis or a decline in their mobility.
During Carers Week 2023, Jo Keats, PramaLife Volunteer Coordinator attended the Boscombe Library for a Carers Event. Throughout the day, Jo was able to share advice with plenty of individuals who may be seeking guidance. Whilst Jo was there she met Ola, who shared her experiences of caring for her Husband Dave, a retired IT Director.
Ola expressed her concerns for her husband after he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease a few years ago and has progressively become more 'apathetic' and due to his decline in mobility and energy levels. Jo suggested they come along to the Prama office to test out the VR equipment as Dave has an interest in technology and had considered purchasing his own VR headset.
Dave and Ola both enjoyed their experience whilst using the VR headset, Dave said that it is good value for the price of the model. He said 'it was good to be able to go to space and also have control of places you want to visit. It took a while to get used to but afterwards it was enjoyable and wasn't too disorientating'.
Ola enjoyed using google maps to explore parts of Spain and mainly getting used to the technology as it is new to her. Afterwards, both Dave and Ola seemed interested in getting their own headset, possibly a newer model, so they can continue to explore more features.
If you or someone you know would be interested in testing the VR headset out, please get in touch with Jo Keats E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 01202 207300.