Family First’s Virtual Reality (VR) program has officially hit the road! We recently offered this life-altering program to St Johnland’s social day program and the results are something to talk about.
This was the first time that we have offered this program to a population that suffers from various forms of advanced dementia. Attendees were able to visit their countries of origin, tap into fond memories from their past, and visit places they have never been before.
Participants experienced feelings of joy, peace, relaxation, and nostalgia. One woman in particular who has been non-verbal for some time now, was able to visit her home country of France and then share her experiences on a notepad. Featured right, is a picture of her thoughts following her very first Virtual Reality journey and include: “My family is from France.”, “I will certainly tell my family about this. It was so nice to see this.” “It was a real pleasure.”
Virtual reality is one of the latest tools being used to treat the side effects of dementia such as anxiety, social isolation, and memory loss. “Geriatric providers such as, Sonya Kim, a physician in the San Francisco Bay area, have been taking virtual-reality headsets to seniors as a part of their medical treatment. Kim’s therapy program, Aloha VR, lets seniors use the headsets to bring variety into their days, relax and get away to a virtual tropical locale” (washingtonpost.com).
To learn how to bring VR to your facility or program, please call 631-319-3961 and ask for Alyssa Cottone, Director of Community Engagement.
Jennifer has specialized training in Alzheimer’s disease through the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association and the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation.She also volunteered her time with the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center of Long Island for 3 years by providing cognitive stimulation to an Alzheimer’s patient group.
Jennifer educates the community about elder care and speaks to caregiver support groups, senior centers, and at professional organizations.Topics include home safety, effective strategies for family caregiving, elder care planning, and awareness about elder abuse.
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