The conversations of life

Ticking off aged care residents’ “bucket lists” – using virtual reality? It’s happening


Samsung will visit five Uniting aged care homes across NSW and the ACT with its VR headsets as part of a pilot program to see if the technology can help to reduce social isolation and keep residents more connected.

Uniting aged care resident James Hadley on a virtual reality trip to his birthplace of Vancouver

Residents at Annesley House in Sydney’s Haberfield are already taking part, with Samsung sourcing virtual content to help one resident ‘visit’ his hometown of Vancouver for the first time since he moved to Australia and another to ‘travel’ to Canada’s redwood forests.

Walking in their shoes

With over 50 per cent of people in aged care living with dementia, virtual reality is proving a valuable tool – and not just for residents.

As part of the pilot, Uniting carers will also be able to use the Samsung technology to live a day in the life of a resident with dementia.

Uniting says the content, developed by Alzheimer’s Research UK, should give carers a better idea of the stresses and confusion experienced by residents – and help them improve their care plans and interactions with them.

An important point. As they say, there’s nothing like walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.

With a background in nursing, Annie has spent over 20 years working in the health industry, including the coordination of medical support for international TV productions and major stadium events, plus education campaigns with a number of national health organisations. In recent years, she has also taken time out of the workforce to be a full-time carer, giving her first-hand experience of the challenges and rewards of this role.

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