Watch how virtual reality is helping the lives of dementia patients

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People living with dementia are being offered unique virtual reality (VR) experiences thanks to a new project.Care home group Quantum Care and marketing agency Tribemix have created a range of nostalgic and scenic VR experiences which, they say, could be used as immersive therapy to help people living with the neurological disorder.The experiences, which are in the form of 12 pre-installed VR scenes, are aimed at helping patients trigger happy memories and making them feel relaxed.Some scenes include a forest full of animals, a beach, a luxury yacht overlooking a coral reef and dolphins playing in the sea, as well as an underwater experience of the coral reef and dolphins.Others feature a view of the Earth from the International Space Station and a wildlife safari showing an elephant, giraffe, gorilla and rhino in a forest.The VirtuCare system, which costs £3,995 plus VAT, comes with a VR Ready laptop, an Oculus Rift, as well as training and technical support.VirtuCare system.A beach scene from VirtuCare’s VR experience (Tribemix/PA Video)The system was initially designed to help people living with dementia, but Tribemix says the project is now being broadened to include patients from paediatrics, respiratory disorders, physical disabilities and elderly care.One user, Ann, who took part in VirtuCare’s immersive therapy, said she felt “happy” during the experience.“This is happy tears by the way, I am not sad,” she said.VirtuCare system.Ann, who took part in the VirtuCare experience, said it was “magic” (Tribemix/PA Video)Another user, Richard, said he “loved” seeing gorillas and found the experience “peaceful”.According to a report from the Alzheimer’s Society, the number of people living with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase to more than one million by 2025 and two million by 2051.At present, there are more than 40,000 people with early-onset dementia in the UK.