|Peggy Evans tries virtual reality at Hope Hospice|
With the introduction of a new virtual reality activity, Hope Hospice is helping to alleviate feelings of isolation for those in their care and encourage a sense of connection with others through a shared experience.
Hope's counselors can customize the VR activities as users exercise their minds and check items off their bucket list. Specially-designed VR headsets allow access to simulated activities like skydiving, swimming with dolphins, or exploring must-see spots in different countries. Virtually visiting a specific place - like a childhood home or a favorite vacation destination – promotes reminiscence therapy, which is especially helpful for those with Alzheimer's disease or related memory disorders. Family and friends are able to connect with their loved one by sharing a VR experience together. Themed experiences based on holidays and seasons are available, along with interactive VR games and activities designed to help reduce stress and increase movement.
"Improving quality of life is the cornerstone of Hope's mission,” said Samira K. Beckwith, President and CEO of Hope Healthcare. “Offering a virtual reality activity helps us give those in our care an opportunity to feel the excitement of travel and the sense of well-being that comes from connecting with others - without fear of coronavirus."