Virtual reality (VR) technology allows people with dementia to enhance the quality of their life. New research findings show that VR technology can help people with dementia recall past memories, reduce aggression and improve interactions with caregivers.

‘VR can have positive benefits for patients with dementia, their families and caregivers,’ says Jim Ang from the University of Kent. ‘It provides a richer and more satisfying quality of life than is otherwise available, with many positive outcomes,’ Ang adds.

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The study participants used a VR headset, visited one of five virtual environments of a cathedral, a forest, a sandy beach, a rocky beach, and a countryside scene and feedback was then recorded from patients and their caregivers from 16 sessions, researchers reveal.

The results show VR supported patients recall old memories by providing new stimuli challenging to achieve because of illness or inaccessible within a secure environment. These memories not only provided positive mental encouragement for the patients but supported their caregivers in learning more about their lives before care, thereby improving their social interaction.