Garden Village and the Magic of Virtual Reality!

On April 02, 2024

Dementia affects over 400,000 Australian’s and without a medical breakthrough, the numbers are likely to increase. Across the nation, an estimated 1.5 million individuals are involved with caring for someone living with Dementia.

Eziway partners with not for profit organisations like Garden Village who employ 280 local people in Port Macquarie on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. Garden Village is a registered not for profit and has provided care and support to the community for over 40 years. Services include Aged Care, Home Care and Retirement Living.

Garden Village has initiated a campaign to bring Virtual Reality to Port Macquarie and support seniors with dementia. The organisation is fundraising to purchase Virtual Reality headsets and a virtual library of experiences from leading technology company SilVR Adventures.

After a successful pilot program the Garden Village team has seen the positive effect of virtual reality and its ability to create conversation starters and help people develop meaningful relationships within the ageing community.

Virtual reality programs can alleviate feelings of loneliness and support residents to remain mentally active. The immersive armchair travel takes the residents through virtual adventures either by themselves or within groups.

Garden Village Nurse Unit Manager Jo Lindsay said “It’s a wonderful program for residents giving them the opportunity and joy of reliving past adventures and experiencing new virtual ones.”

Some of the experiences provided by SilVR Adventures include:

  • Trips to Africa to see wildlife
  • Australian outback and Uluru
  • The scenic beauty of Alaskan wilderness
  • A guided tour of the Louvre in Paris

At Garden Village Grace recently celebrated her 103rd birthday and embraced the virtual reality sessions. She enjoyed seeing giraffes, elephants and African wildlife. Grace said “When it was not expected it was even more terrific. It was pretty and my word it was an amazing adventure.”

Virtual Reality in this space has been shown to have a positive impact on increased social connectivity, wellbeing and additionally providing incredible stimuli to improve memory and cognitive function

CEO Craig Wearne said “We hope Garden Village Port Macquarie residents can continue the journey into the world of Virtual Reality. It’s fantastic we can bring experiences with technology to residents with dementia. The world of smart tech is exciting and we look forward to embracing innovative tech to best support resident engagement, health and wellbeing.”

If you would like to learn more about Garden Village or support the campaign you can visit their website or the Virtual Reality Giving campaign for more information.

Eziway is pleased to champion the work of the not for profit sector. The work that people employed by Garden Village deliver each and every day to vulnerable and ageing communities inspires us to continue providing a great service to all of your employees. Keep up the great work.