A virtual world tour for Catholic Healthcare residents
Catholic Healthcare residents at two NSW aged care facilities recently had a chance to travel the world – without even leaving their homes.
St John’s Villa and Charles O’Neill Hostel played host to volunteers from the Red Cross Community Visitors Scheme bearing virtual reality headsets, which enabled residents to tour famous sites around the globe like the Taj Mahal, the Sistine Chapel, the Grand Canyon, and the Eiffel Tower.
Residents were delighted, with one reminiscing about her 60th wedding anniversary in New Zealand; Jennifer Alterator, Lifestyle Coordinator at St John’s Villa, said staff and residents were excited for what they might see next time.
“I am really impressed by the virtual reality program and the way it benefits our residents. They’re still buzzing and talking about what they saw and their travel experiences!” she said.
According to Kat Butterworth, Red Cross Community Programs Officer – Social Inclusion, the program is designed to improve quality of life for people who would otherwise be socially isolated.
“We want to be able to help create something truly meaningful for residents of local aged care homes, while fostering connection and friendship.
“With the help of virtual reality, we are creating a purposeful and meaningful activity that supports enjoyment and communication through shared experiences,” she said.
The Red Cross is planning to roll out the virtual reality program to other homes, including at Catholic Healthcare, in coming months.