This informal CPD article on The Role of VR in Dementia Care was provided by Moonhub, a software company creating bespoke VR training solutions to unlock your employee’s full potential.
The Role of VR in Dementia Care
Dementia is a wide term that encompasses a group of more than 200 brain disorders. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of all instances of dementia. The number of persons with dementia is constantly rising as the world's population ages. Dementia will affect 152 million people by 2050, a 300 per cent increase from 2020. Dementia had higher health and social care expenditures in the UK in 2021 (£14.2 billion) than both cancer (£12.3 billion) and coronary heart disease (£11.6 billion). However, in 2021, overall social care spending will be only £26 billion, compared to £136.1 billion for the NHS.
Despite decades of research, the exact origin of dementia, as well as a cure, remains unknown. As a result, dementia education and training for health and social care providers are becoming more vital than ever before in order to provide appropriate person-centred care. Skills such as dementia awareness, effective communication, empathy, ethical thought, and knowledge are all required for person-centred dementia care.
In order to provide good person-centred care, virtual reality is becoming a key tool for health and social care professionals to use in their education and training. For example, to simulate learning situations such as home care, surgery rooms, or emergency rooms, as well as to provide learners with virtual environments. Virtual reality simulations can also be utilised to deal with potentially risky care settings or situations.
Person-centred dementia treatment
Person-centred dementia treatment relies heavily on empathy. Empathy, fortunately, is a skill that can be developed. A variety of tactics have been explored to improve empathy, but immersive and experiential simulations have been found to be the most effective. Virtual reality boosted empathy for dementia patients by 92 per cent in a study involving 45 second-year undergraduate nursing students, and virtual reality was a significantly superior training medium for 100 per cent of them.
When people's emotions are involved, they are more likely to connect, understand, and remember things. According to a PwC analysis, VR learners felt 3.75 times more emotionally attached to the topic than classroom learners and 2.3 times more connected than e-learners.
Employees who received VR training were up to four times more concentrated than those who received e-learning training and 1.5 times more focused than those who received classroom teaching during training. Learners are more likely to retain the material and get better results when immersed in a virtual reality experience.
Healthcare education is facing a tumultuous challenge: produce a large volume of qualified professionals while maintaining quality standards. Because virtual reality applications are improving all the time, fulfilling these educational goals is becoming increasingly feasible. Through VR, you'll be best equipped to identify and alleviate distress on all levels because we believe care is as important as the cure.
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