A Preston care home is one of the first in the UK to trial a virtual reality distraction therapy, which is helping reduce stress and anxiety for residents.Advertisement
Ribble View in Fishwick supports 30 young adults who are living with complex needs.
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The virtual reality distraction therapy uses a headset which transports users to a variety of fully immersive 3D content, from a beach in Bali to the Great Wall of China.
During the virtual reality sessions, a therapist can reproduce real-life scenarios, and personalise and adapt them to the needs of the individual.
The technology can provide a safe and therapeutic experience for adults living with a range of neuro-disabilities and mental health needs.
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Commissioning Home Director at Ribble View, Lindsay Abraham, said: “Our aim is to make every day better for the people we support, and virtual reality can help us to do this.
“Many of our residents are unable to go to the places that they’ve dreamed of going, but with virtual reality, we can make these dreams come true.
“For example, one of our residents loves going to the beach, and with the virtual reality headset, we can provide this meaningful experience from the comfort of the home – and complement it with other sensory elements such as dipping his feet in a paddling pool, running his hands through sand and the smell of fish and chips.
“The headset also offers a 360-degree camera that loved ones can use to record events such as weddings, dinners or birthdays, which people can watch on the headset, so they feel part of those big days. This is a great way to support people to stay in touch with family and friends, especially during periods of lockdown.
“The availability of such technology is fabulous for staff and residents, and we have implemented this therapy as part of Positive Behaviour Support plans, working with residents to collaboratively identify what works for them during periods of distress.”
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