Virtual reality for Dementia Care

RACHAEL PODCAST COVER – Season 4

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Video Transcript

If you’re wondering what I’m doing, I am testing out Mynd VR, virtual reality made for people living with dementia. Virtual reality is pretty cool. It’s essentially like watching a video except you’re in the video. So MyndVR sent me their program, which is this awesome headset. And I wish I could show you exactly what it looked like inside, but here’s what the headset looks like. I can’t really show you the video. You would put this headset on the person living with dementia, and then you would control what they’re seeing on this tablet. And there are a ton of different videos and things they can be involved in. You can see there’s a whole bunch of them right here. A whole list of things… I swam with sharks, I played with kittens, etc.

I took their caregiving course and there’s a lot of stuff on here. So I think it’s pretty cool. You could use this with anybody from, you know, people with mild cognitive impairment all the way to, I would say a moderate stage of dementia. I would not use this with someone living with advanced dementia. I think this would be pretty overwhelming because let me tell you, it’s pretty real! I’m in the boat and I’m looking around, there are sharks down here. I’m actually in the shark cage. I mean, it was nuts it was really cool. So I’m really happy that Jim Gleason and his team sent me this to try out. There are a lot of different programs in there and it’s really great to use with people living with dementia because there’s really nothing else like it.

Especially during this time when people really can’t like to go out and do what they used to do during COVID time. This is a really cool way to get them to go like visit a place they used to visit or, you know, see like some kittens or some puppies up close. I don’t know. There’s a whole world of things you can do with this. So this was really cool because a lot of times people are like Rachael, can you try my app? Usually, I say no, because there are so many apps for people living with dementia. And a lot of times they don’t really get to the real issue. They’re just like, oh, well this is a reminder app. It reminds people of how to take their pills or when to take their pills. This actually does something where the person living with dementia can experience something and could really improve somebody’s day if they’re agitated or tired or, even just bored. I think this is great for stimulation of the brain because you can actually visit places.

You can go to Germany where I was supposed to go on a honeymoon, but Germany won’t let us in eventually. I understand why you won’t let us in anyway. You can go all over the place and like walk around and look at things and it’s fine too. If somebody’s stationary, it actually has a program on there. It’ll tell you when to use it, like how stationary it is or how intense it is. So if someone’s afraid of Heights, you obviously don’t want them doing the skydiving option, which is an option that I did. I recommend checking it out. They have an awesome caregiving app on there where they’re actually teaching caregivers through a quiz where they’re in the video, interacting with the person, living with dementia, or watching someone interact with the person and choosing the right answer.

I personally would change some of the answers on there based on how I teach dementia care, but the actual tech behind it and the idea behind it are amazing. And I’ve never seen anything else like that. So in terms of programs that you can use with people living with dementia, really, really cool. I’ve not found anything else quite like this, and yeah, thanks again. To mind VR. There we go. And Jim and the team for sending this over to me to review.

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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