Virtual Reality Takes Hospice Patients To Trips Around The World
By Mikelle Leow, 05 Aug 2022
Through virtual reality, patients at a hospice in England have been able to enjoy new experiences and soak in the healing sounds of nature and other environments, even if they cannot leave their beds.
Besides helping patients with mobility needs, occupational therapists at St Giles Hospice introduce ways to cheer them up and distract them from their pain. One of these options is VR, which transports them to cities around the world, scenes of nature, and even outer space. There’s also a film narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
Beth Robinson, one of the facility’s occupational therapists, says the visual respites take patients to “a calming space.”
“This distraction-related activity enables our patients to escape the realities of their present situation and offers a form of relaxation,” Robinson adds.
71-year-old Janet took a virtual stroll at the seaside, where she was comforted by sights of the sun and sand. “I’ve never experienced anything quite like it in my life,” says the patient, who is currently living with endometrial cancer. “I was totally lost in the moment.”
“My pain was a distant memory,” Janet says. “It was so soothing.”
Her daughter, Hazel, was touched to see her mother in so much serenity. “Her face was so animated,” she recounts.
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