As the general population ages, more attention is being given to ways to make the senior years more comfortable. Maplewood Senior Living are planning on using modern technology for this aim with the launch of the Centre of Aging Innovation and Technology, which, among other things, plans to use virtual reality (VR) to improve the lives of older people.
Maplewood’s stated aim is to provide the highest standard of care, the finest amenities and newest technologies to create vibrant environments. As part of this, the company is planning on trialling a VR system designed specifically for seniors which can offer not only entertainment, but can also spark memories and encourage socialisation and reduce stress and anxiety.
“The new Center for Aging Innovation and Technology helps us demonstrate the art of what is possible by incorporating new technologies, experiences and services into the lives of our residents,” said Gregory D. Smith, President and CEO of Maplewood Senior Living, based in Westport, Connecticut. “Maplewood has always been committed to pushing the boundaries of what senior living should look like and we are pleased to launch this Innovation Center to demonstrate to our clients how we convert next-generation solutions into tangible tools and outcomes.”
Other technologies the company plans on introducing is the Eversound wireless, noise cancelling headphones that can improve clarity of hearing for group activities. Also planned is the fall prevention systems and a Skype lounge to allow residents to communicate with friends and family using large, easy-to-see screens and optimised sound systems.
Brian Geyser Vice President of Clinical Innovation and Population Health at Maplewood, said: “New technologies like VR can really expand a resident’s world,” said Geyser. “For one of our residents, we were able to use VR to take her back to her hometown in Maine. We even visited her childhood home. We then capped off the experience with a fresh blueberry pie from our farm-to-table kitchen. It was quite a thing to see. I’m honored to be able to deliver experiences like this to our residents.”
VRFocus will continue to report on new developments in VR technology.