Can virtual reality help seniors? Study hopes to find out

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“Research shows that VR, when administered properly, can help reduce anxiety, improve mood, and reduce pain,” said Jeremy Bailenson, the Stanford lab’s founding director.

 

(Terry Spencer/ CTV News) — Terry Colli and three other residents of the John Knox Village senior community got a trip via computer to the International Space Station in the kickoff to a Stanford University study on whether virtual reality can improve the emotional well-being of older people.

Donning 1-pound (470-gram) headsets with video and sound, the four could imagine floating weightless with astronauts and get a 360-degree tour of the station. In other programs, residents can take virtual visits to Paris, Venice, Egypt or elsewhere around the globe; attend a car rally, skydive or go on a hike.

“It really felt like you were traveling — and not alone either. In some of the video, there are people,” said Levey, a former federal government worker. (…)

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