Virtual Reality Therapy in Citizens with Dementia and Long Term Conditions

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The project intends to pilot the use of virtual reality therapy to improve the quality of life for those living with dementia and other long term medical conditions. The service will initially provide a small VR therapy service, as a proof of concept, where VR headsets are made available to citizens who met the inclusion criteria.

ICF funding has been provided via the Dementia Board to purchase 10 headsets, mobile phones and a 2 year software provision (commencing in June 2019), with approximately £37k spent. The intention is to use the headsets in a location that is yet to be defined but could include:

  • Care Homes
  • Day centres
  • Extra care settings
  • Memory clinics
  • Support groups
  • Citizen’s own home
  • Sheltered Accommodation

Initial discussion has identified the following users:

  • Those living with a diagnosis of dementia
  • Those who may be awaiting a diagnosis of dementia
  • Anyone with a long-term health issue
  • Care homes residents
  • Care home patients
  • Those in assisted living

The project is seeking to establish a service that will be either a:

  • regional local authority library of equipment
  • central library of equipment
  • mobile VR outreach / managed service (the model used by Horsham specialists visiting care homes)
Partners / funding sources
  • Integrated Care Fund
  • Gwent Dementia Board
  • Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
  • Monmouthshire County Council
  • TEC Cymru
  • Caerphilly County Borough Council
  • Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council
  • Torfaen County Borough Council
  • Alzheimer’s UK
  • Gwent TEC RPG
Start date
Completion date
  • Lessons learnt
  • Outcomes
  • Outputs

The project will follow and learn from the work carried out by Horsham and Mole Valley District Councils, who conducted a successful projects using virtual reality technology therapy with citizens who are living with dementia or citizens who are living with long term medical conditions, such as stress and long term pain.

Video link to their VR therapy project

https://youtu.be/XNIJ6yij8zg

The identified expected benefits of using VR therapy are

  • Citizens appear calmer
  • Sleep of citizen improves
  • Citizens are less likely to fall
  • Evoke memories
  • Feel less pain
  • Improved communication

Evaluation Report