Virtual Reality Project – Update October 2020

At all times during our Virtual Reality project we have been acutely aware of the safety element of what we were doing. Going into care homes at the best of times needs diligence and an understanding of strict rules and regulations. But during Corvid the need is far greater, and the process needs to be well thought out.

To that end, Tom Burmeister of Playframe, the company doing the filming and editing, compiled a Risk assessment policy. We have adhered to this throughout the process.

We have been incredibly lucky in having Haley Vega-Zabala to help us. She is a care worker in Trafalgar Park and a huge supporter of what Caerphilly 50+ try to achieve. Haley was happy to agree to help and be the guinea pig for our project. She first confirmed with the management, co-workers, and residents of the home that they were happy to be involved. Then she agreed that the VR equipment could be delivered to the home for its initial three-day quarantine.

This was done by meeting outside the building with both parties wearing masks and having thoroughly cleaned their hands first. The equipment was delivered in a re-sealable box that included separate mask pads, which can be attached to the Headset and then disposed of. This way every resident trying out the VR had a cleaned and fresh headset each time.

Haley said “Doing it this way made us all feel safe, we actually used the VR during the time that visitors were being slowly reintroduced to the home so although it was busy it was a helpful distraction, residents loved the feeling of being outside again.”  Once Haley had finished with the activity, the Headset was cleaned replaced in the container and then put into quarantine for a further three days before being picked up.

Caerphilly 50+ Chair Dr Ralph Stevens said “We are so grateful to Haley; this really would not have been possible without her selfless dedication and love to involve her residents with the Community”

At the time of this intial trial of the system we only had a very limited range of videos. So, it was great to get the positive feedback.

We have, remarkably, been able to continue to add more videos, not least our Elvis Tribute.

With the video presented here, you can click and drag around the image to get a sense of the 180 effect.