In this partner post, Future of Ageing Awards winner SilVR Adventures shares the success of their VR program being run with Keyton’s retirement living communities.
Keyton (formerly Lendlease Retirement Living), has witnessed a heartwarming transformation among its residents through the implementation of virtual reality (VR) technology. The VR program by SilVR Adventures, introduced by Keyton at the end of 2022, has become a catalyst for social connection, relationship building, and improved quality of life among ageing adults residing in their 76 retirement villages.
Sonal Wallace, Keyton’s National Resident Wellbeing Manager and an Occupational Therapist by training, spearheads the VR initiative. Under her guidance, Health and Wellbeing Coordinators Anita and Libby (pictured below) have successfully integrated VR experiences into the daily lives of residents, bringing them together in shared virtual spaces.
Anita, based in New South Wales, expressed her surprise at the rapid and enthusiastic uptake of the program. Despite an initial aversion to technology, residents embraced the opportunity to embark on virtual adventures, sparking a sense of wonder and excitement. The positive word-of-mouth testimonies from early participants played a significant role in encouraging more involvement among residents.
According to Sonal, VR has proven particularly beneficial for the ageing population. Some residents had previous exposure to VR through their grandchildren, which piqued their curiosity. However, it was the genuine connections formed among residents that truly inspired further engagement. The VR program provided new experiences and facilitated conversations, reminiscing, and knowledge-sharing. Residents found common ground and newfound confidence, enabling them to thrive socially.
Libby, based in Victoria, shared a story of a resident who initially kept to herself for six months after moving into the retirement village. Libby took the initiative to introduce VR to this resident, understanding the potential for the technology to spark her interest. Starting with simply watching VR experiences on the big screen, the resident’s enthusiasm grew exponentially. Overcoming her own reservations, she actively participated in VR adventures and gradually blossomed into an engaged and vibrant member of the community. Her transformation inspired others, leading to a ripple effect of increased community involvement.
Anita emphasised the profound impact the VR program has had on social connection. Residents, both new and existing, now embark on virtual travel adventures together, fostering deep friendships and creating shared memories. The program has proven an effective icebreaker, facilitating conversations and integration for residents who may feel unsure about starting new relationships in a retirement community.
Keyton’s VR program has brought immeasurable joy and fulfilment to the lives of aging adults. By leveraging cutting-edge technology, Keyton has revolutionised retirement living, demonstrating the power of social connection and shared experiences in enhancing the overall well-being of their residents.
As Keyton continues to prioritise innovation and resident well-being, their VR program stands as a testament to its commitment to creating thriving communities that support and enrich the lives of ageing adults.
For further information about using VR in your facility contact the team at SilVR Adventures – silvradventures.com.au