Inside – Outside : Virtual Reality Project
Finally! February 2nd, 2023, at 15:00 we were actually able to take out Virtual Reality (VR) headsets into a Care Home. A huge thank you to Min Y Mynydd and Shannon, their senior carer, for allowing us to visit them!
National Lottery funding for the project was deposited in our bank account in May 2020. From the outset we were confronted with covid lockdown. This prevented us doing any filming. As covid restrictions gradually eased we were able to get out and about to start generating videos. But, although general restrictions disappeared and we started “living with covid”, Care Homes still remained vigilant and access for us to demonstrate the VR Headset videos was not possible.
Min Y Mynydd Resource Centre residential care home provides person centred 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 patiently for covid restrictions to be lifted. She was obviously thrilled when we spoke in January and could make arrangements to meet in early February.
We started with just 2 of the residents, Shannon doing 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 were able to take advantage of the 360-degree views, chatting 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 operation of the headsets, managing the process with ease.
It was a really exhilarating afternoon; not only did we enjoy the experience of seeing the effect at last of our endeavours, but the participants (residents and carers) were obviously enjoyed the experience. To confirm that observation, they asked if we would be able to come again! So, we are in the process of setting the next date.