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Za človeka gre 2021 / All about people 2021

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Optimally Using Vr As A Way of Keeping Seniors In Residential Facilities Active

The paper discusses the optimal way of using Virtual Reality in senior facility program of activities. Unlike other technologies, virtual reality (VR) can provide the user with an almost perfect feeling of physical being in an imaginary world or a place representing reality, and the user can actively influence the storyline. Those aspects predetermine using VR as a tool to keep seniors active. There are four parts necessary for meaningfully using VR in keeping seniors active: a proper interactive scenario, a suitable spatial background in the facility and trained activity coordinators in the field of VR and the connection of the “virtual” and “real“ world of the person. The content and storyline of the virtual experience, as the degree of interactivity and the motion control in VR, have to involve two factors. First, respect for sensory, cognitive, or motoric limitations of the elderly users. Second, support meeting key psycho-spiritual needs of the elderly, such as the need for self-awareness, the need for meaning and continuity in life, or the need for beauty. The activity coordinator should be primarily a safe guide in VR, motivating the elderly to enjoy the variable benefits of VR. The coordinator has to know how to assess the suitability of using VR, to know the possible risks of VR and how to deal with them, and how to maintain VR headset hygiene, especially in a time of increased incidence of respiratory diseases.

Vera Suchomelova
Faculty of Theology, University of South Bohemia


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