PhD Electronic Engineering student Hiba Jawharieh has trialled a Virtual Reality (VR) study with Avante Care Homes, whereby residents had the opportunity to virtually visit different locations including Vienna, Disneyland Florida, a cathedral and the beach.
The research is part of Hiba’s PhD research with Supervisor Dr Jim Ang, in collaboration with PhD Electronic Engineering student Ethan Cheung, who works on developing the application Hiba used in her sessions with the residents.
The study’s main objective is to identify opportunities and challenges of deploying VR to support people with mild, mild to moderate and moderate dementia in a care home setting.
The study aims to understand how caregivers co-create VR experience with people with Dementia in different care scenarios, to carry out a preliminary assessment on the impact of VR on the wellbeing and cognitive processes of people with Dementia, and to investigate how family members can co-experience VR remotely and explore the challenges and possibilities of designing such a technology.
Hiba says: ‘so far, I’ve done 12 face-to-face and 4 remote sessions with 6 residents and the results have been promising. The remote sessions are conducted with a loved one who is situated at his/her home which makes this work special’.
Further information about one of the trial sessions is available on Avante’s website, here: