Banfield Pavilion makes good use of Virtual Reality goggles
Personally, I never quite got the appeal of Virtual Reality goggles – until my brother-in-law programmed them to a Beatles’ concert. There I was – or so it seemed – at a Beatles’ concert. That was cool.
But how Robert O’Neill, Manager of Residential Services at the Banfield Pavilion, is using the technology is beyond cool. It’s beautiful. O’Neill started a virtual reality program for residents who have not left the building in a very long time. His idea was to transport them to a place that would bring them joy.
“I tried the goggles on one resident who I had been told had always loved the beach,” explained O’Neill. “We had him sitting in a darker room with a fan blowing on him and we sprayed tanning oil in the air to give it the smell of the beach. We also put his hand in a bucket of sand.” The goggles did the rest – 360 degree scenes of the beach everywhere he turned his head, waves crashing at his feet, and the sound of the ocean – it was all there. And so was the resident.
“This was someone who has been non-verbal for a very long time,” adds O’Neill. “But while he was wearing those goggles, he started singing a song about being down by the seaside.”
The other thing worth mentioning about this program is that the cost is minimal. They are using their work phones to make this happen. “When we got our new iPhones, I realized that we can do so much more than make calls,” says O’Neill. “The Virtual Reality goggles are only $150 – it’s the iPhones that really make the program work.”
Special thanks to the Recreation Team at Banfield
The team play a big role in making this program happen. Recreation Manager and Occupational Therapist, Hillary Radford, and the two recreation workers Yee-Sin Law and Natalie Chapman are working to transform the recreation programs at Banfield Pavilion by focusing on a balance of programs within the domains of wellness and smaller 1:1 recreational programs. The Virtual Reality program is a 1:1 program that offers residents a chance to explore our universe in a 360 degree virtual reality tour through spaces in surround sound, meeting the spiritual domain of wellness while also providing sensory stimulation.
Tags: Primary & Community Care