VR Software Allows Users to Understand What It’s Like Living With Dementia

VR Software Allows Users to Understand What It’s Like Living With Dementia

Dementia First Hand offers users the experience of what it's like for someone with dementia in their day to day tasks, offering an insight into the world of this terrible disease

A VR experience by creative agency Galactig in Wales looks at how the world feels for someone living with the abhorrent disease Dementia. This innovative software is available to download for free from the Oculus Rift Store.

Dementia First Hand places the user into everyday scenarios that someone with dementia would experience such as tasks around the home, making a cup of tea in the kitchen or looking for your car keys. The user will hear a voice that comes through the Oculus Rift where it will speak to you in the same way someone will dementia may think. This is to demonstrate the confusion a patient with dementia has to deal with in their every waking hour.

The experience aims to be as realistic as possible, so users can have an increased level of awareness and understanding about those who are living with the disease. Galactig has also blended photorealistic 3D environments with a real actor filmed using a custom stereoscopic camera rig.

Derick Murdoch who is the Creative Director at Galactig talks about how the software is available in English as well as Welsh and how users of the technology will find themselves completely immersed in the experience:

“This is a groundbreaking use of VR technology to teach soft skills in Welsh and English. We have created an experience which allows you to interact with everyday objects using virtual hands which aid users in fully immersing themselves in the narrative.”

Meilys Heulfryn Smith who is the Project lead on Dementia First Hand explains the importance of why this particular software will include the Welsh language:

“When a person develops dementia, they may often lose the ability to communicate in their second language. This technology paints a poignant picture of this experience, immersing the user in a situation where they recognize the need for actions to manage the task, and the words associated with those actions, but are simply not able to retrieve them.

“This very real frustration is felt by thousands of people in Wales each day, and we hope that the VR experience will increase awareness and understanding of the challenges this disease brings.

“Dementia is a difficult and sensitive subject for many families across Wales, and this project gives family members the chance to handle this as an issue in Welsh as being able to use your first language during a difficult time is often comforting.”

In today’s society with so many family members and other people we know getting diagnosed with this horrible disease, it’s often very important for those close to them to see what it’s like in their shoes; hence allowing you to understand them and dementia better plus knowing what it is that you can do for them to make even the smallest tasks easier.

Dementia First Hand experience is free for anyone that has an Oculus Rift to use and it is available in both English as well as Welsh. You can jump over to the Oculus Rift Store to check the software out and download via this link.