Friday, August 23, 2019

Lakeside 2019, Week 10, and Virtual Reality

Friday is a light day for programming at Lakeside; we had a class on organization (clutter) and cooking tips by Stacy Maple, a chef, on alternate Fridays earlier in the season, but today was the Wellness Fair.

I poked around at a few displays—the Methodists are having an apple dumpling fund raiser (have no idea why this is health related, except it’s fine fellowship and we all need friends and service); Magruder Hospital had a display on the danger of falls, but the ladies didn’t know how to keep my husband off the roof; and there were various “eastern” or meditative or movement programs that I don’t do.

I did, however, discover a new health related business by a woman entrepreneur which can assist hospice patients, shut-ins or nursing home residents reduce their pain, recall pleasant memories, and facilitate conversations with loved ones.  It’s called “Immersive cure; virtual reality solutions.”  Using virtual reality therapy it’s a non-pharmacological way to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and pain with a Gear VR Headset. Originally VR was used primarily for entertainment purposes, but in the last decade medical research has proven it effective for other uses.

As I sat in a chair waiting for the headset to be placed I learned that the CEO, Jessica Benson, of Medina, Ohio, had moved around a bit due to her husband’s career and then through a volunteer position at a hospital came up with this idea to provide personalized virtual experiences for people who are facility bound or too frail to travel.  The option (right now I believe there are 6 one of which is veteran travel to monuments) I used was the “Lakeside experience.” With the gentle sounds of Lake Erie and nature sounds I was transported to the front lawn near the Celtic cross and fountain at Hotel Lakeside looking up, down and around, enjoying lake views and watching people strolling, and some plein air artists (filmed in July).

The kit which Ms. Benson provides includes the headset with controller, a smart phone, headphones, an infection control kit, and case for the equipment. She will educate the staff of the organization that purchases her services. She can also personalize this service for other areas and events that would be familiar for the shut-in.

For more information and comments by users, see

"Virtual reality and pain management: current trends and future directions" 

Sickle cell disease.

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