How can we harness virtual reality to serve the elderly and add fun to their lives

Since the beginning of the third millennium, virtual reality has become one of the most prosperous industries in the world, with increasing demand for it day by day, and although its beginning was towards video games; However, its benefits greatly overshadowed its original invention, and hospitals now use it to train surgeons, engineers use it in architectural design, and also direct films using this technology.

For the elderly and those who have had to isolate in some way from the world, whether with the spread of Covid-19 or as a result of aging diseases and the difficulty of transportation, virtual reality has become one of the most important outlets for them to practice activities that they were unable to do before, in addition to facilitating communication with others.

Where studies indicate the damage that loneliness and isolation can cause, which may amount to smoking 15 cigarettes per day, on the other hand, community participation and cognitive stimulation can delay or prevent the onset of dementia and vice versa. considered a serious public health risk.

In order to reduce this dangerous phenomenon, many applications have spread that, through the use of virtual reality glasses and their connection to a smartphone, the individual can live within a full life simulation experience with many diverse activities that renew activity and increase the demand for life.

How to engage in virtual reality?

Getting into the world of virtual reality does not require any computers, but you only need to get advanced virtual reality glasses such as Oculus Go and Gear VR, both of which are available in electronic stores; Either online or in retail stores at affordable prices.

The freshness of the Oculus Go is that seniors can simply operate it, as it doesn’t require any hardware or complicated connectivity methods, it’s ready to go right away. Whereas the Gear VR requires a smartphone to be used as a display for freshness which can be a bit complicated especially for the elderly.

Best virtual reality apps for seniors

There are a variety of VR applications that are suitable for all ages; Especially the elderly, which will help them integrate with the virtual reality experience, increase cognitive motivation and practice a lot of sports or cognitive activities in addition to communicating with relatives and friends or even visiting other countries!

Zen Zone app:

Price: 4.99$

Supported devices: Gear VR – Oculus Go

Need to connect to the Internet: No need

“Zen mode” is one of the most enjoyable applications of the virtual reality platform, as it provides a complete relaxation experience for the elderly through a set of meditation techniques, through which they can enter a private garden, collect sand and arrange rocks, or sit and relax and listen to the sound of nature, which increases the feelings of Peace and calm and reduces stress to the least degree possible.

Utility Application:

Price: Free

Supported devices: Gear VR – Oculus Go

Need to connect to the Internet: No need

Available in a variety of languages ​​such as Arabic, Dutch, English, French, etc., the app completely changes your view of disability. Where the viewer puts himself in the place of the person with special needs; To feel his suffering in many common matters and situations, such as descending the stairs or reaching unreachable things and others.

While we are talking about useful applications for the elderly, this application reduces the feeling of pain for people with special needs and makes them more likely to benefit from the scenes they see in improving their lives.

On the other hand, having children and grandchildren on this enhanced experience will lead to a greater understanding of the needs and daily suffering of the elderly.

Alcove app:

Price: Free

Supported devices: Oculus Go

Need to connect to the Internet: Needs to download in-game content

Whether for reasons of travel, fear of spreading the global spread of Covid infection, or preoccupation with daily chores, daily communication between the elderly, children and grandchildren is in constant decline, and phone calls are not enough to reduce the feeling of loneliness, nor do video calls dispense with family visits.

But with the “Alcove” application, grandparents will be able to experience an integrated social experience with family and friends, as if they were actually spending their day together. Watching TV and other family activities.

Wonder app:

Price: 4.99$

Supported devices: Oculus Go

Need to connect to the Internet: Needs

Traveling around the world is one of the great pleasures that everyone desires, and many elderly people have the desire to travel, but are hindered by either the difficulty of movement or the cost, hence the idea of ​​the “Wander” application, which simulates the experience of traveling and roaming around the whole world and visiting most of the famous tourist areas Using Google Street View.

Where you can walk the London Bridge, enter the gardens of the Taj Mahal, or explore the pyramids from the inside and other unlimited possibilities from your seat.

The application also explains the history of the area you are visiting and presents information about it, in addition to comparing its current image with what it was for many years.

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