You are here: Home » News-ANI » Science
Business Standard

Caregivers of dementia patients can benefit from Virtual Reality

Health Medical Pharma


Cases of dementia in care homes are on a rise, but carers are often associated with a lack of empathy towards their patients.

A caretaker is believed to be driven by a number of factors to provide empathetic care to patients with dementia - even healthcare professionals have demonstrated a lack of understanding towards such patients.

However, with the advancement of technology, caregivers can now benefit from virtual and augmented reality experiences which equip them with compassion towards the patients, reports Medical Device.

One such VR or AR experience can be taken by exTraining2Care's mobile virtual dementia tour (VDT).

The carers undertaking dementia care training witness the VDT simulating the mental and physical challenges being faced by dementia patients. Using sensory stimulation devices and instruction, the VDT simulation bombards the senses to deliver an experience which is designed to be as close to really having dementia as possible.

Through this tour, carers have the patient's sight, hearing and sense of touch in their hands and feet dulled or removed, before being instructed to complete basic tasks with the limitations in place.

"With this bombardment of senses the delegates demonstrate classic dementia behaviours that we would see in the community, care and nursing environments," said Glenn Knight, managing director at Training2Care.

Knight added, "Families, teachers and care staff constantly comment that after the experience they now understand why the person acts in the way that they do."

Carers who took this virtual tour also reported feeling anxious, lost and vulnerable.

One device through which the virtual tour can be taken is VR headsets by a Japanese company Silver Wood. They created a series of films that the viewer experiences via a VR headset intended to give them a better taste of what is it to be a dementia patient.

"Unless we can understand what a person is experiencing we cannot make simple changes to improve their lives," Knight said.

He continued, "Dementia training mainly focuses on what is happening to the brain, so courses do not improve practice because we are not treating the disease."

"By understanding [the lived experience of a dementia patient]," Knight says, "we can ensure that we can improve practice, environments and attitudes to really make a difference.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, June 14 2019. 23:27 IST