The number of people over 60 in the global population is growing. Population ageing constitutes a demographic trend that has accelerated considerably. People live longer, but as they get older, the risk of experiencing diseases and life changes that are indifferent to their mental condition increases. VR technology can offset losses associated with older age and help improve the health and comfort of seniors.
Old age comes later today
Our desire is to live long lives in good psychophysical condition. A long life may give you a chance to realize your dreams and passions, but such a successful old age depends primarily on good health. Despite the increase in human life expectancy, these additional years are usually spent in poor health. Gradual loss of physical and mental fitness is inscribed in aging, however, the decline in performance can be inhibited. The interpretation of the term “senior” is not unambiguous. The common understanding sets the limit at 60-65 years of age, although at this age many people do not feel old at all. Even among geriatricians, there are voices for moving this threshold up. Usually, we define seniors as the oldest members of families or communities. The older we get, the higher we believe this threshold is.
Seniors’ health problems
Over the years, health problems multiply, and seniors may suffer from various ailments simultaneously. Disorders in the physical, mental, emotional and cognitive spheres are problems that older people face, albeit with varying degrees of severity. Loss of fitness and loneliness significantly affect the quality of life. These are the problems that usually affect the elderly. Depression may occur in elderly people in the result of life changes and serious conditions such as stroke, heart attack, pain syndromes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or Parkinson’s disease. The sum of various problems and conditions makes depression common in the elderly. The seniors affected by depression become passive and reluctant to activities, lose interest and energy, and their well-being deteriorates. Untreated depression of the elderly is a problem as it predisposes to the development and more severe course of other diseases.
We’re all moving forward
There are more seniors with each and every decade. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are already more people aged 60+ than children under the age of 5. Seniors as a growing group are becoming more and more noticed in the designed services and products. There is a growing demand for technological solutions that support the health of older people and facilitate their care. Modern concepts based on VR technology are successfully applied to the health issues of seniors. This is not due to the hype surrounding Virtual Reality, but to the effectiveness of this medium. Virtual Reality also works great outside the entertainment niche that it once used to be associated with. Currently, Virtual Reality serves different needs and different users. VR content creators do not neglect seniors and patients in their efforts, because it is these groups that can benefit from virtual experiences. We’re all moving forward. Today’s seniors are different from seniors from previous generations. Contrary to the perception of younger generations, seniors are usually open and curious about novelties.
Senior in VR
Senior in VR headset still arouses surprise, because VR is easily associated with young players. Cliche is that an older man and technical innovations stand in opposition. But Virtual Reality does not require the user to be able to use advanced technologies. The power of VR is the impression of the presence it creates, so actually in Virtual Reality you just need to find yourself to experience an immersive experience that moves both the mind and the body. Correctly designed virtual sessions help the elderly and the sick to function better in the real world. VR abolishes many barriers, and the benefits of its use for the elderly, often people with disabilities, are appreciated by senior homes, foundations, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and other institutions that care for the elderly and the sick. VR allows to keep seniors in good psychophysical condition.
VR TierOne for seniors
In order to increase the effectiveness of rehabilitation, it is necessary to take care of the mental well-being of the rehabilitated person. The psyche has the power to support the patient in the rehabilitation process. Support is also needed to extract and strengthen mental strength. It would be good if the patients were under the care of a psychologist. Unfortunately, only few people have the opportunity to use the professional support of a specialist. The issue here is the availability of psychotherapists. Rehabilitation of people in poor mental condition requires the right approach of the staff, their patience and faith that the process will ultimately succeed. The lack of expected results is unsatisfactory for all parties involved in the process. Without professional support, rehabilitation is bound to be less effective.
Rehabilitation with VR TierOne
Appropriate equipment and VR content are required to immerse the seniors in the virtual world and achieve the intended benefits. The solution to the health problems of seniors is a VR TierOne medical device with proved effectiveness in applying Virtual Reality to reduce the symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. The VR TierOne device enables to carry out therapy that positively affects the mental well-being of the virtual session participant. Indications for the use of virtual therapy are diseases coexisting with depression, which blocks the regaining of health and fitness during rehabilitation. VR TierOne works well for patients of rehabilitation wards and residents of senior homes who need emotional support and motivation to participate in daily pro-health activities. The expected benefits of using VR TierOne are:
- alleviation of depression, anxiety and stress,
- improved well-being,
- improvement of cognitive functions,
- psychophysical relaxation,
- reduction of pain sensations,
- acceleration of the recovery process.
Discovering the virtual space of the Garden of Rebirth takes place in a sitting position, so people in wheelchairs can also benefit from the virtual therapy. VR TierOne supports the health and improves the well-being of seniors, in a pleasant and safe way. It is worth asking for and using VR TierOne therapy in medical and care centers.