August 21

Virtual Reality for Seniors at Yee Hong@ Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care has launched a new Virtual Reality for Seniors (VRS) Program-Mon.,Aug.20th,2018

. Funded by the government of Ontario through the Seniors Community Grant Program, this virtual reality program is the first of its kind and aims to provide a platform where seniors can learn to use virtual reality technology and engage with others in their community.
Unlike the therapeutic focus of other virtual reality initiatives in long-term care settings, Yee Hong’s VRS Program was created with the social benefits of virtual reality technology in mind. Through a carefully designed program, not only will seniors learn to use a new form of technology, but they will also interact with other seniors from their community and create new social connections through their collective experiences.
It is expected that after seniors become comfortable and proficient with using virtual reality technology through the VRS Program, they will develop an interest in learning to use other forms of technology as well. Such forms of technology may include personal devices like smartphones and tablets, both of which can help seniors stay connected through social media. This will help to combat social isolation as well as disprove the widespread conception that technology is meant only for younger generations.
When asked about using virtual reality technology during a demonstration session for seniors, Jenny Lai recalled the eye-opening experience. “Never have I tried something like this before! It really felt like I was underwater swimming with the fish and whale,” she said. Regarding whether she thinks virtual reality is something older adults can learn to use, Lai replied, “I think with proper instructions and the chance to practice, it shouldn’t be too hard to pick up on.”
“The Seniors Community Grant program helps thousands of seniors across Ontario to stay active, healthy and engaged in their communities. We are pleased to support the new Virtual Reality Program for Seniors that is an innovative way to help seniors stay connected socially and learn about technology,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility.
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(One of the seniors is using the virtual reality technology during the demonstration session.)

At the time of launch, the VRS Program is being offered to active seniors aged 55 and older living in and around the GTA community. However, the VRS Program will later be adjusted and made available to the organization’s long-term care and adult day program clients as part of Yee Hong’s continuum of care model that strives to meet the changing needs of seniors as they age.
We would like to thank  Cathy Zhou, Senior Public Relations Officer Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation for the information regarding the Yee Hong’s Virtual Reality program for Seniors. For further info, she can reached at 416-877-2051 x 1821 cathy.zhou@yeehong.com