Elderly travel the world with virtual reality

  • 02/09/2016
Elderly travel the world with virtual reality

The men and women at the Brookdale Senior Living Community in the US don't need to leave the building to take a trip to the French countryside, thanks to the power of virtual reality.

They can soar through Yosemite National Park and explore the depths of the ocean.

MIT grad students Dennis Lally and Reed Hayes are pioneering the use of this technology with seniors.

"I feel for the people living inside these communities, that they don't have enough stimulation," Mr Hayes says.

"They need to have a sense of wonder about the world again, they need to be curious, they need to be exploring… And when you're physically not able to do that by yourself, then virtual reality is a wonderful aid to provide that."

The experience is even more meaningful for seniors like Marion Keefe. She got the opportunity to return home.

Mr Hayes says the whole room felt the strong of Ms Keefe's emotions at the return.

"And those were extremely powerful moments that 2D picture won't provide, it requires virtual reality, the immersive nature of it to generate those emotions," he says.

Adus Shakur, a chef, says he's still got many traveling days ahead of him.

But he was overjoyed to virtually visit a restaurant he opened in Berlin nearly two decades ago.

"I could stay there just… you know, go where ever I want," he says.

CBS News

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