Ben Gatehouse speaking at HammondCare's dementia conference on Thursday
Ben Gatehouse speaking at HammondCare’s dementia conference on Thursday

AUDIO: Improved quality of life for residents with dementia and an alternative resource staff can try before medications are among the benefits of virtual reality in aged care, an international dementia conference has heard.

A trial of 3D virtual reality (VR) goggles at three facilities with 30 residents at different stages of dementia has shown this and more, Southern Cross Care Victoria dementia care consultant Ben Gatehouse told HammondCare’s dementia conference in Sydney on Thursday.

In addition to 20 per cent of residents reporting a pleasurable experience as a result of the 3D immersive experience, behavioural outcomes witnessed included a reduction in vocalisations, wandering and anxiety among residents coupled with a staff preference for VR before pharmacological interventions, he said.

“It is terrific if our staff can have a very broad-based approach to managing complex behaviours before going to the use of medications,” Mr Gatehouse told the NEWSROOM at the conference.

It’s a fast changing industry and devices will quickly become smaller, lighter, cheaper, easier to use and load with personal content and link to tablets to enable co-watching to enable widespread adoption across the sector, he said.

Here, Mr Gatehouse tells AAA’s Natasha Egan talks about the trial and why 3D VR goggles are a game-changer for aged care:

Brought to you by the NEWSROOM
Brought to you by the NEWSROOM

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