Through an initiative with the Red Cross Community Visitor’s Scheme (CVS), residents from Catholic Healthcare's St John’s Villa and Charles O’Neill Hostel recently experienced a virtual reality tour of the world.
Donning virtual reality headsets, they enjoyed an immersive whirlwind round-the-world tour, visiting places such as the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower, the Greek Islands and the fields from The Sound of Music.
“I felt like I was really there, visiting the Sistine Chapel,” said David, resident (pictured below).
“What a wonderful experience! The scenery reminded me of my 60th wedding anniversary, travelling to the south island of New Zealand many years ago,” said Iris, resident (pictured below)
The Red Cross, through the Community Visitor’s Scheme (CVS) runs the virtual reality programs in conjunction with lifestyle teams at residential aged care homes across New South Wales, in select areas. The program is catered for those who are socially isolated and whose quality of life would be improved through participating in the program.
“We want to be able to help create something truly meaningful for residents of local aged care homes, while fostering connection and friendship,” says Kat Butterworth, Red Cross Community Programs Officer – Social Inclusion.
“With the help of virtual reality, we are creating a purposeful and meaningful activity that supports enjoyment and communication through shared experiences.”
The Red Cross has plans to implement more virtual reality sessions in other aged care homes in the next few months. The program is already proving to be very popular at Catholic Healthcare, with plans to roll-out to our other homes in the coming months.
“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!” says Jennifer Alterator, Lifestyle Coordinator at St John’s Villa.
“We’re excited about what we can see next time.”
Above and top of page: Red Cross Volunteers - Paula, Paula and Kat
Above: Residents from Charles O'Neill Hostel
Sample video footage provide by SILVR adventures -