virtual reality

at the service

of sensory stimulation

A virtual reality environment designed to provide moments of calm by awakening the senses: Snoezelen

The Snoezelen approach is the right balance between stimulation and relaxation. These sensory stimuli are a source of pleasure and relaxation that can help to calm difficult behaviors in institutions. This module, available in the C2Hypno solution, has therefore naturally become established in gerontology over the last ten years.

physiology and behavior

Scientific studies conducted in geriatrics have demonstrated the effectiveness of Snoezelen both on a physiological level (Bailly & Pointereau, 2011) but also on a psychobehavioral level (Andreeva & al, 2011). After a Snoezelen session, we note a feeling of calmness in the participants. This letting go is notably due to a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure.

The Snoezelen method also considerably reduces agitation, aggressiveness (verbal and physical) and anxiety. The most fragile residents who are immersed in this Snoezelen “cocoon” come out reassured and with the desire to share their experience. Those with communication disorders are able to exchange more easily with the caregivers. Globally, the Snoezelen method gives back to the seniors the “recovery of willingness”.

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Psychogeriatry

Van Weert & al (2005) analyzed video recordings up to 18 months after patients had had their first Snoezelen experience. Numerous significant effects were observed over the long term, such as an increase in the number of smiles and verbal exchanges, a feeling of autonomy and a decrease in anger and reproach. This non-medicated approach to therapy offers a relevant and economical program. This innovative alternative improves the quality of life of residents and caregivers alike. Whether verbal or non-verbal, communication between caregivers and residents is clearly improved, promoting a therapeutic bond of trust.

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Mutual appeasement

This sensory stimulation can, for example, be carried out before the toilet so that it can take place in a soothing atmosphere. The toilet, but also the care are then easier and more fluid. The change in the behavior of the residents inevitably impacts the daily life of the caregivers in EHPAD. Relaxed residents mean calmer caregivers. This improved communication offers the possibility for everyone to find satisfaction in their relationships by creating complicity. Snoezelen will indirectly encourage an improvement in working conditions.

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Snoezelen in virtual reality

The C2Hypno application offers you the possibility to immerse your residents in a stimulating or relaxing Snoezelen environment. The “stimulating” one, with lilac and sparkling colors. The “relaxing”, darker with less bright lights. The two modes of Snoezelen allow you to expose several patients during the same workshop, to propose personalized experiences and to integrate very quickly and easily this new method. Thanks to virtual reality, the proposal of these experiences is greatly facilitated. You will find all the indicators of this method designed to bring moments of appeasement and stimulation: auditory stimulations, visual stimulations, stimulations by touch thanks to the helmet controllers (vibrations). Everything can be personalized according to the resident’s needs and interests. 

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r&d c2care

C2Care is also a scientific committee and a network of partners. The software contained in the EHPAD pack is the result of collaborative work between our engineering teams and our partners. The latter are geriatric doctors and psychologists specialized in neuropsychology and gerontopsychiatry. Their expertise guided the creation of the environments, made possible by virtual reality. The EHPAD pack is the new therapeutic solution for establishments hosting elderly people. Simple and intuitive, the software has been designed to be used by seniors, even those who are losing their autonomy. The nursing staff will easily integrate this new device that will enhance the medico-social services of EHPADS.

C2Care’s software has been designed to be easy to access, not only for the patients but also for the care staff. The software contained in the EHPAD pack is therefore accessible to people with motor or praxis disorders. Moreover, the software is included in a standalone headset (Oculus Go), so caregivers can carry and use it easily, without the need for a computer.

How to start a relaxation session?

20-30 minute relaxation sessions in Virtual Reality, coupled with a relaxation method (cardiac coherence, mindfulness, autogenic training)

  • Possibility to do group sessions
  • Possibility of using it independently

20-30 minute sessions of cognitive stimulation with the therapist

For who?

For seniors with depressive symptoms, anhedonia, anxiety symptoms and/or cognitive impairment.

Who should not be treated?

The contraindications to the use of virtual reality are

  • Photosensitive epileptic patients
  • Pregnant women
  • Psychotic patients in crisis

Patient acceptance?

A literature review by D’Cunha et al, 2019, as well as clinical trials with pilot facilities showed that virtual reality was well accepted and appreciated by patients.

Why vr for senior?

Today, more than ever, geriatrics is driven by the need to develop its treatments and therapeutic applications. Faced with ethical and medical dilemmas, EHPADs are lacking alternative solutions. Virtual reality appears to be a relevant response to therapeutic impasses. This science and technology, which is in line with non-medicinal treatments, is viewed with great interest by geriatric professionals. Virtual reality is the most promising alternative to traditional therapies. It generates enthusiasm among researchers and practitioners who want to participate in the therapeutic progress in the treatment of aging processes.

The software contained in the EHPAD pack is the result of collaborative work between our engineering teams and our partners. The latter are geriatric doctors and psychologists specialized in neuropsychology and gerontopsychiatry. Their expertise guided the creation of the environments, made possible by virtual reality. The EHPAD pack is the new therapeutic solution for establishments hosting elderly people. Simple and intuitive, the software has been designed to be used by seniors, even those who are losing their autonomy. The nursing staff will easily integrate this new device that will enhance the medico-social services of EHPADS.

Four therapeutic softwares are present in this pack in order to answer the needs of the senior health establishments: cognitive stimulation, neuropsychological qualitative evaluation, relaxation and behavioral activation. These applications will allow you to integrate virtual reality in the daily life of your residents as therapeutic solutions and animation mediator. Thanks to the multi-headset solutions, you will be able to carry out group sessions. Seniors will be able to benefit from the group dynamics during collective activities in virtual reality (cognitive stimulation, relaxation). Virtual reality therapies are in line with non-medicinal therapies.

What does the research says about it?

The development of the EHPAD project was based on a clear observation: geriatrics lacks relevant tools to respond to the cognitive, emotional and behavioral declines of elderly people in EHPAD. Drug therapies are used mainly in the management of cognitive aging.

Today, we know that cerebral pathologies are characterized by a multifactorial aspect that this type of approach alone cannot apprehend. Thus, non-drug therapies are increasingly attracting the interest of researchers and practitioners.

Virtual reality offers an innovative and promising alternative to traditional therapies. The current literature not only confirms the good acceptance of virtual reality devices by seniors but also underlines the effectiveness of this technology in the difficulties inherent to aging and the end of life. Based on this observation, we have taken advantage of existing works that have generated significant results to develop our software. The authors who have explored the potential of this technology through their studies have obtained convincing results. Thus, in his qualitative analysis, Garcia-Betances (2015) emphasizes the intrinsic qualities of virtual reality: accessibility, sensory recruitment, fine processing of different cognitive functions, immediate feedback, favored therapeutic engagement and general improvement of quality of life. Optale (2010) demonstrated the effectiveness of virtual reality in improving memory abilities in the elderly. Results confirmed and supported by Man (2011). Wallet et al.(2011) highlighted the effectiveness of virtual reality as a tool for generalizing learning. More recently, D’Cunha (2019) emphasizes the active potential of virtual reality as a mediator to allow the improvement of the quality of life of seniors suffering from cognitive decline.

Current research data has confirmed our desire to follow the line of non-drug therapies by developing virtual reality software dedicated to EHPAD.

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