A recent trend among older adults is taking a once-in-a-lifetime trip. . . virtually. Several recent articles note the increased use of virtual reality goggles by older adults to experience travel. So far, the technology is being used with older adults at libraries and senior living communities.
Recently, residents of a memory care community took virtual trips to the beach. On this trip, they enjoyed realistic views of the ocean, with accompanying sounds of the waves and even scents of a beach-like environment. One resident who took the trip says, “I had no idea what to expect, but it was very different and you are transported. It was well worth doing.” Other program providers like the Arlington Heights (Illinois) Memorial Library gave older adults the chance to go virtually anywhere of their choosing. Locations selected include Thomas Jefferson’s home and Brazil. One participant says “You could see it, touch it, taste it. It was amazing, so beautiful, and very impressive.”
One benefit of such virtual reality programs seems to be the rejuvenation that older participants feel. Ida, a library attendee who has traveled across the world thanks to these goggles, says, “It rejuvenated me. I came in as a 91-year-old and the experience made me feel like a new person.”
Arlington Heights Memorial Library. It’s vacation season! Meet area seniors whose travels are virtually amazing. https://www.dailyherald.com/submitted/20180726/its-vacation-season-meet-area-seniors-whose-travels-are-virtually-amazing. Accessed August 21, 2018.
Meredith Beirne. Senior Stay-Cation. McKnight’s Senior Living. https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/in-focus/senior-stay-cation/article/788504/. Accessed August 21, 2018.
Sherin K. Virtual reality holds benefits for senior living residents. McKnight’s Senior Living. https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/marketplace-columns/virtual-reality-holds-benefits-for-senior-living-residents/article/787139/. Accessed August 21, 2018.