The pensioners leaping from planes and travelling the globe from their armchairs
- Credit: Premiere VR
Pensioners have been travelling across the globe, visiting far-flung mountain ranges, and enjoying adrenaline-fuelled feats.
Next week, from the comfort of their armchairs, they are packing their virtual sunglasses and camouflage jackets, for an African safari where they can enjoy the spectacle of wilderbeest sweeping across the plains without the 24 hour travel time.
Trevor Fuller, of Hopton-based Premiere VR, said care home residents all in their 70s and 80s had climbed Everest and watched a lunar eclipse from the summit, launched themselves from aeroplanes and swum with sharks.
Exploring the world was being made possible thanks to £10,000-worth of kit - including virtual reality goggles - and people of all ages seemed to love it.
Having tried the technology with wide-eyed children Mr Fuller and business partner Sam Markwell thought it was something older people could benefit from too.
They took the gadgets to Carlton Hall Care Home in Carlton Colville, Lowestoft, where residents were keen to immerse themselves in the 360 degree experience.
Mr Fuller said they originally used the gear to promote venues for companies but soon realised how fun and entertaining it was.
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At schools and family events children could walk with dinosaurs and he was keen for older people to share the same experience.
“For people who are bedridden or suffer from dementia it can trigger memories and have a calming effect,” he said
“We could also show them scenes from where they grew up.”
At Carlton Hall a group of eight residents can take part at a time all experiencing the same thing.
“One lady was worried she would get her feet wet standing by a lake shore in Alaska looking at the mountains.
“They all became very childlike and giggly. We heard ‘wow’ a lot of times which is what we aim for.
“There were a lot of arms out in front to try and grab things and stroke things.”
Mr Fuller said the hour-long sessions were planned to take place every week at the home with residents spending around five minutes at a time immersed in a world with each other.
He said it was great to see the older generation so engaged with technology, adding they were still talking about their experiences long after he had left.