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Tucson Seniors Use Virtual Reality For Travel, Health Issues

Arizona Daily Star via AP Rebecca Sasnett

Two Tucson retirement communities are the launching pad for a program to see how virtual reality technology helps senior citizens with cognition, dementia, loneliness and other issues.

The Arizona Daily Star reports Watermark Retirement Communities wants to eventually make the technology available at dozens of facilities nationwide.

With a cordless headset system called “Oculus Quest”, elderly residents have been able to ride a roller coaster, visit the Egyptian pyramids and visit places they used to live. Watermark also wants to allow residents across its communities to be able to meet up virtually.

Grayson Barnes, a 20-year-old Rochester Institute of Technology student, spent two years developing the “Engage VR” program for Watermark. He says most research suggests dementia patients are more like themselves after experiencing virtual reality.

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