Min Y Mynydd Care Home
Care Home Visits Begin
Min y Mynydd Care Home has kept in contact with us for 2 years. Finally! February 2nd, 2023, at 15:00, we took our Virtual Reality (VR) headsets into their Care Home. A huge thank you to Min Y Mynydd and Shannon, their Senior Carer, for allowing us to visit them!
We deposited National Lottery funding for the project in our bank account in May 2020. Covid lockdown restrictions constrained us from the outset. This prevented us from doing any filming. As covid restrictions gradually eased, we could get out and start filming videos. But, although general restrictions disappeared, and we started “living with covid”. Care Homes remained vigilant. This meant that it was not possible for us to enter the Care Homes with our headsets.
Min Y Mynydd Care Home provides care and support to older persons with a wide range of health and dementia support needs. This was one of the original Care Homes that agreed to evaluate the VR headsets. Shannon has been enthusiastic from the start and has waited for covid restrictions to be lifted. She was thrilled when we spoke in January and we agreed to hold an event in early February.
Residents Interact with the Headsets
We started with just 2 of the residents. Shannon did a great job of helping to explain what was happening and positioning the headsets. As time went on, more residents appeared; at one time there were 8 in the room with 3 headsets in use and 4 carers watching/helping. You can see from the pictures that participants took advantage of the all round views. They chatted to the carers about what they were watching and pointing at something (that we obviously could not see). By the end, Shannon had taken over the operation of the headsets, managing the process with ease.
It was an exhilarating afternoon; not only did we enjoy the experience of seeing the effect of our endeavours, but the participants (residents and carers) enjoyed the experience. To confirm that observation, they asked us to come again! So, of course, we arranged the next date.
On a dull, dank winter afternoon, all the residents pictured above put on a VR headset that ‘transported’ them to another reality. Within the headsets, the 360 VR videos give a complete all round view of the location. We have taken the camera on a walk with us and now the viewer can “accompany” us from the comfort of an armchair (INSIDE) on a stroll around an interesting venue (OUTSIDE).
A Large Portfolio
Participants can choose to walk through Roath Park, buzzing with activity, or have a quiet stroll through Margam Park. We now have a portfolio of about 20 VR videos: St Fagans Museum; Cenarth Falls; The Botanical Garden; Around Caerphilly Castle; Senghenydd Memorial; Cwm Darran hills (walking with the dogs); join Caerphilly Male Voice Choir in their rehearsals; a unique performance from ‘Elvis’ live in Ty Penallta.
Virtual reality is now being used in many studies. The results show improved quality of life for Care Home residents. There are also benefits for interactions with their carers. You can see in this blog how we went go back to Min y Mynydd Care Home for Dementia Action Week.
Studies are now being made with Interactive VR.