Exploring virtual reality in end-of-life care
We’re on a mission to offer therapeutic virtual reality experiences to Waipuna Hospice patients facing limited mobility because of illness, by purchasing two Virtual Reality (VR) headsets!
Waipuna Hospice is committed to providing the best quality of life for those affected by terminal illness and bereavement. Why? Because we believe no one should die alone, unsupported, and afraid. We envision a world where everyone has the best possible care right up to the very end of their lives. This includes not only looking after physical needs, but emotional, practical, and spiritual needs.
When patients are facing a life-limiting illness, many activities they used to enjoy are no longer possible due to the physical constraints of their illness. VR allows patients to experience a sense of full mobility, engaging them in a way that lets them escape their physical limitations. In a recent trial at the main Waipuna Hospice site, VR profoundly impacted two patients.
One patient who tried on a VR headset for the first time was transported to the moon’s surface through the magic of VR. She had never dreamed of visiting outer space, but with the headset, she could sit beside Neil Armstrong as they blasted off on a star-studded voyage to the moon. Another patient was able to dive into a virtual undersea world and experience marine life in a way they never thought possible.
“When you are getting weaker and weaker, you can’t travel anymore or do quite a few things because of lack of energy – this [VR] is very uplifting for your soul, taking me places I otherwise couldn’t. It is something special, ” says Sigrid, Waipuna Hospice Patient and VR Trial participant.
Virtual Reality allows patients to revisit places from their memories or explore locations they always dreamed of visiting. Several inspirational experiences are available. Imagine being underwater as a whale swims by you, so close you could almost reach out and touch it. It’s an incredibly powerful tool for enhancing the quality of life for hospice patients.
We’re looking for compassionate, caring, and kind-hearted people who share our commitment to improving the lives of the dying in our community, to donate or sponsor the purchase of two VR headsets. By providing VR experiences, you can bring a sense of wonder, exploration, and inspiration into the daily lives of our patients.
Please get in touch if you’d like to help provide hospice patients with these incredible experiences. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 318 to discuss.
Your support as a donor or sponsor would literally open whole new worlds to those who can no longer move easily because of life-limiting illnesses. Thank you for considering this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those who are dying in our community.
This update was first published in our newsletter – Waipuna Connections, issue 83.