A whole new world for dementia patients

For dementia patients, stimulating their minds and sparking a trip down memory lane can have real benefits helping them remember and communicate.

Now, virtual reality is giving some aged care residents those experiences without leaving their armchairs with a pair of 360-degree interactive glasses.

Herman Vucci used the impressive invention for the journey of a lifetime: A trip to New York at the age of 92.

But there was no long flight ahead for Herman.

This is the amazing view that the dementia patients can experience. Photo: 7 News

He's travelling virtually with a pair of the interactive glasses which can take its user from the plains of Africa to the North Pole.

The glasses enable the user to experience a very safe and easy environment and feel like they are in a beautiful tranquil place.

Residents with dementia at Mercy Place care homes are taking part in a trial designed to trigger memories, emotions and most importantly good
old-fashioned happiness.

The headset is linked to a smart phone and you can explore the canals of Venice just by turning your head.

Workers at Mercy Care can sit with the person and find out what their interests are or their background.

If a patient wants to try handgliding, it can be programmed into the headset on and suddenly they can be across the top of Hawaiian mountains.

Aged care patients at Mercy Place care homes can experience the innovative invention. Photo: 7 News

It's hoped the trial will be extended to all residents with even more destinations added to create peronalised itineraries.

Karen Gooding, from Mercy Health, said:

"We have found that it has triggered their ability to reminisce to communicate and allow them to try different experiences that they have wanted to do. So basically fulfill their bucket list."

It is hoped the trial for the interactive glasses will be extended. Photo: 7 News

Mr Vucci told 7 News his experience was ‘fantastic’ and he ‘got to go travelling without spending money’.

Mercy Health has purchased four of the virtual reality headsets but is trying to fundraise so it can purchase two headsets for each of its 22 aged care sites.

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