Residents go ‘way back’ with virtual reality app

Chris Durnan, market square coordinator  helping resident Phylis Trimm use the headset.jpgSpecialist dementia care home The Lodge based in Chorley has taken some of its residents back in time to experience past memories, with the help of a virtual reality (VR) app.

Residents at The Lodge, situated within the award-winning Buckshaw Retirement Village, have been using ‘The Wayback’ app, which uses virtual reality, in combination with a film, which has been specifically designed to help people with dementia recall key events.

Currently, there is only one film, which takes people back to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth on June 2, 1953. However, developers behind the app are working to create a series of films that ignite fond memories for people who are living with dementia.

Chris Durnan, market square coordinator at The Lodge, said: “The Wayback app is a brilliant concept which has really helped residents engage and think about the past. I think it’s great that the developers have considered accessibility and have included a section on their website that lists conversation starters to help people think about their memories.

“The people behind the app have done a great job in using an event that will be relevant to lots of people and that brings back lots of different, fond memories.”

Lisa Barnes, regional director for the Hica Group, said: “We have used reminiscence-led therapy in the past which has been popular with residents and has shown some great benefits, such as uplifted moods and increased interactivity and engagement.

“The app has definitely bought noticeable difference and it’s been great to see the residents so enthusiastic and talking about their memories.”

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