These days, healthcare professionals are faced with various and complex problematics. Indeed, elderly people often have mood disorders (depression, anxiety disorders, sleeping disorders). Somatic problems can be worsened by these different troubles (chronic pain, health issues). Cognitive fall, with or without pathology, lived by the elderly patient exacerbates behavioral disorder and a loss of autonomy. Virtual reality is a non-medicines alternative to take care of cognitive disorders and work on their mood. This will offer them better living conditions without any risks linked to psychotropic drugs.
Table of contents
- Virtual reality in seniors’ services
- Virtual reality and seniors : feasibility and efficiency, from the scientific eye
- Sensorial stimulation in virtual reality
- C2Care Research and development
Pack EHPAD solutions:
VIRTUAL REALITY IN SENIORS’ SERVICES
More than ever, in geriatrics, it’s major to make therapeutic application treatments evolve. Retirement homes facing ethical dilemmas have a lack of alternative solutions. Virtual reality is a smart solution to therapeutics limits. Science and technology are combined to create non-medicine treatments, and gives a great interest in geriatrics. It’s actually the most promising alternative therapy. Researchers and clinicians are excessively enthusiastic about this technology in the aging process.
Applications presented in C2Care solutions are made thanks to collaborative work between our engineering team and our medical partners. Our medical team is composed of geriatric doctors, neuropsychologists and psychiatrists specialized in geriatrics. For retirement homes, C2Care is the new therapeutic solution. Easy to use and very intuitive, our software has been thought to be used for elderly people who are losing their autonomy. Healthcare professionals won’t have any issues using the software, and the software will be helpful to create new medical and social activities.
What’s in the retirement homes pack ?
To answer to seniors’ needs, many therapeutic software can be found in the pack:
- Cognitive stimulation
- Qualitative neuropsychological evaluation
- Behavioral activation
Integrating virtual reality as a therapeutic solution and animations’ facilitator in your residents daily life is possible with these applications. You can also create group sessions with our multiple-headset solutions, to create a group dynamic in virtual reality (cognitive stimulation, relaxation…). Finally, virtual reality therapies really are non-medicine therapies.
Virtual reality and seniors : Feasibility, efficiency and the science’s eye
Developing a project based on retirement homes was essential : geriatrics has a lack of efficient tools to answer cognitive, emotional and behavioral falls on elderly people.
Nowadays, many medicines are used in cognitive fall care. But working with other types of approaches will be helping to work on different multifactorial aspects. This is why non-medicine therapies are highlighting researchers and clinician’s interest. Virtual reality gives an innovative and promising alternative to regular therapies
The scientific research validates the elderly people’s acceptability to virtual reality but also spotlight its efficiency in the aging process and in the end of life process. So, we have developed our software based on existing significant studies.
What are the studies saying ?
Authors working on new technology and health have found significant results. For example, Gracia-Betances (2015), have highlighted some qualities about using virtual reality with patients :
- Sensorial use
- Sharp treatment of cognitive functions
- Direct feedback
- Therapeutic engagement improved
- General improvement of life conditions
Optale (2010) has proved virtual reality efficiency in the improvement of elderly people’s memory abilities. Man (2011) has attestated these results as well with more informations. Wallet and al. (2011) are seeing virtual reality as a useful tool for skills generalization. Recently, D’Cunha has valorised virtual reality as a facilitator to improve senior’s life conditions and the cognitive fall.
By developing our software for retirement homes, more than ever, we wanted to give seniors the possibility to be treated with non-medicine therapies.
Sensorial stimulation in virtual reality
Physiology and behavioral work:
Studies show that using Snoezelen in geriatrics is efficient on the physiological part (Bailly & Pointereau, 2011) and on psychobehavioral part (Andreeva & al., 2011). After a snoezelen session, elderly people are more stressless and calm. Letting go of negative emotions is helped by the fact that the cardiac rhythm and the blood pressure decrease. Agitation, aggressivity and anxiety are decreasing with the Snoezelen technique. The most vulnerable residents can use it too : being immersed in their own space will make them feel reassured and with the desire to share their experiment. Also, for people with communications skills, it’s easier to discuss with caregivers or surroundings. Snoezelen gives the desire to go back on doing things again.
Van Weert & al (2005) have analyzed records of videos of snoezelen patient’s first experience up to 18 months
What are the long term effects ?
Many significant effects can be seen on long-term :
- Number of smiles and verbal exchanges rise
- Autonomy feeling
- Fall of angriness and reprobations
This non-medicine approach as a therapeutic approach give a smart and economic program. With this innovante alternative, resident’s life conditions and caregivers’ functions are increased. Therefore, the communication between caregivers and residents (oral or not) is clearly better.
Sensorial stimulation can be, for example, realized before washing your patient to be done in a calm atmosphere. Showering and other treatments are easier and more fluid. Resident’s behavioral modification obviously has an impact on caregiver’s daily life in retirement homes : Relaxed residents are making calm caregivers. This improved communication gives a satisfying relationship, and creates a new complicity. Indirectly, Snoezelen gives better working conditions.
C2CARE Research and Development
C2Care also has a scientific committee and partnerships. Each expertise guides our virtual reality environments’ creations. Our software has been thought to be easily used for the patients and for the caregivers. Software included in the retirement homes usually don’t need the use of the remotes to make it easier for people with motor or practice disorders. Moreover, the headset can be independently used. That’s why, it easily can be carried and used from a patient to another, without any computer’s need.
solutions and services
How does the relaxation care happen ?
Relaxation sessions in virtual reality last around 20-30 minutes. It’s combined with different techniques (cardiac coherence, mindfulness, autogenic training)
You have the possibility to do group sessions or to let your patient use it independently
Cognitive stimulation also lasts 20 to 30 minutes
What studies are used as a base of our applications ?
In 2008, Tribet has focused on the animal’s benefits on a cognitive fall of a certain population, and how it can be used to encourage affective effects and physical activities. Libin and Cohen Mansfiels, in 2004, have proved that, when there is no possibility to have a real cat, the same benefits can be found with robotic cats, or with a stuffed animal.
D’Cunha, in 2019 has proved that virtual relaxation with elderly people gives an immersive experience provoking a deep relaxation. This is how disabled people have the possibility to escape from daily life.
Coyle and Traynor & Solowij (2015) meta-analyses researches are made on the cognitive training used with a computer and with virtual reality. These have proved that cognitive skills are improved in many different branches : attention, working memory, executive functions, global functioning, memory, treatment speed, visuo-spatial and verbal skills.
Working in daily tasks is increasing elderly people’s autonomy (Giovannetti et al., 2007; Dechamps et al., 2011). Therefore, it’s possible to work on daily tasks in a total safety while using virtual reality in the hospital (Yamaguchi, Foloppe, Richard, Richard & Allain, 2012).
For every elderly person with depressive symptoms, anhedonia, anxious disorders and/or cognitive disorders.
What are the contraindications ?
Using virtual reality are contraindicated to :
- Photosensitive epileptic patients
- Pregnant women
- In crisis psychotic patients
Is it well accepted by the patients ?
D’Cunha & al., 2019 researches, as well as some clinical trials with some institutes have proved that virtual reality is well accepted and really liked by the patients.
Why using Virtual Reality on seniors ?
It’s essential, today, in geriatrics to improve treatments and therapeutic solutions. Confronted to ethical and medical dilemmas, retirement homes have a lack of solutions. Virtual reality is a non-medical treatment, considered as one of the most promising therapeutic alternatives and has created a real interest in geriatrics.
Researchers and clinical want to be engaged in therapeutic progress on the aging process treatment.
Retirement homes’ software pack is the result of a collaborative work between our engineering team and our medical partners. These partners are geriatrics doctors, neuropsychologists and doctors specialized in geriatrics and psychiatrics.
The creation of our different environments has been made with the help of their expertise. The retirement homes’ pack is the new therapeutic solution for institutions with elderly people. Easy and intuitive to use, the software has been thought to be used by ederly people losing their autonomy.
Caregivers are going to use it easily and bring new techniques to do medico-social activities in retirement homes.
To answer to alderly people’s need in retirement homes, there is four therapeutic software within the pack : cognitive stimulation, qualitative evaluation in neuropsychology, relaxation and behavioral activation.
With these solutions, virtual reality daily activities can be brought into residents’ lives. Moreover, with the multi-headset solutions, you’ll be able to do group activities.
A new group dynamic can be created during collective sessions in virtual reality (Cognitive stimulation, relaxation). Virtual reality therapies are considered non-medicinal therapies
What does science say ?
The retirement homes’ solution has been developed on a sad statement : geriatrics have a lack of appropriate tools to answer cognitive, emotional and behavioral fall of elderly people in retirement homes. Actually, to response to these, we mostly use medicines.
But, today, we know that cerebral pathologies are multifactorial and medicine is not enough to treat them. Therefore, researchers and clinicians are being more enthusiastic about non-medicinal therapies.
Virtual reality is an innovative and promising alternative from other therapies. Studies attest that there is a good virtual reality acceptability with elderly people, but is also really efficient to help them with issues linked to the aging process.
Based on this statement, we have developed our software on studies’ significant results.
Garcia-Betances (2015) has done a qualitative analysis and has highlighted virtual reality qualities : Accessibility, sensorial activation, thin treatment of different cognitive functions, immediate feedback, a better therapeutic engagement, and an improvement of their life conditions. Optale (2010) has proved the efficiency of virtual reality in the improvement of memory skill on elderly people.
And these results have been confirmed by Man (2011). Wallet and al (2011) have highlighted virtual reality efficiency on skill generalization.
Recently, D’Cunha (2019) has spotlighted that virtual reality is a great facilitator to improve senior’s life conditions suffering from a cognitive fall.
Our desire to develop non-medicinal solutions by creating virtual reality software for retirement homes have been confirmed by all scientific research data found.