Amid increasing awareness of loneliness in older adulthood, virtual reality is gaining traction as an effective tool to improve the physical, psychological and emotional health of older adults.
“I think there’s a lot of positive scope for using virtual reality technologies to help people connect. I think you need to have a blend of that kind of a connection with face-to-face in-person connection to get the most benefit”, said Professor Badcock.
While the evidence indicates that virtual reality is effective for improving a person’s general well-being, further research is required to establish the link between virtual reality and loneliness. That doesn’t stop us having hope in its potential for positive change in the lives of everyday Australian’s. “You’ve just got to look at the smiles on people’s faces when they use it to know that it’s adding something”, said Professor Pollaers.
SilVR Adventures are one organisation working to develop the evidence-base for virtual reality to improve the social lives of older adults. “Seniors, especially those living in aged care homes, really need extra support in maintaining positive mental and physical health right now”, said SilVR Adventures Founder, Colin Pudsey.
Realising a shared vision for social connection, SilVR Adventures recently became a member of Ending Loneliness Together. “Our mission is perfectly aligned with ELT, so we’re delighted to be a member”, said Colin.
To listen to the podcast in full, navigate to Episode 17 of the Aged Care Enrichment Podcast.