Home-based and Residence-based Virtual Reality Training to Increase Rehabilitative Exercise in Seniors| MEKTU | NB-IRDT | UNB

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Home-based and Residence-based Virtual Reality Training to Increase Rehabilitative Exercise in Seniors

Lead organization: York Care Centre, Centre for Innovation and Research in Aging

Principle investigator(s): Lisa Sheehy and Justine Henry

About the project:

The issue

Seniors may face many issues that hinder their ability to receive the necessary rehabilitation exercises required to recover from an illness or injury. Some of these issues faced may include transportation, costs, weather conditions, low motivation, or fear for their safety. Therefore, these issues create barriers and can make it hard for seniors to do their required exercises.

The importance

If seniors are not able to do their rehabilitation exercises, it may take them longer to recover. It also could make it hard for them to perform their essential daily tasks and therefore could increase their chances of further injuries.

What makes this project different

We are offering seniors virtual reality as a safe and fun way for them to do their rehabilitation exercise programs. This can be done in long-term care homes or in the community, as part of the Extra-Mural Program. One half of the study participants will be given virtual reality exercises for 20-30 minutes, 3-5 times a week, for 8 weeks. The other half of the study participants will not be given virtual reality exercises, however they will continue with their usual exercises from the Extra-Mural Program or the long-term care facility.

Anticipated impacts

Using virtual reality, we can address some of these barriers that seniors face and can make it easier for them to do their required rehabilitative exercises. We expect seniors to gain strength, improve balance and gait, and feel better overall. We predict that they will have less falls, less emergency room visits, and less hospital stays. Therefore, making the waitlist shorter for Extra-Mural and reducing overall healthcare costs, per client.

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