Dementia patients take to VR aids

Senior citizens at St Luke's ElderCare Ayer Rajah Centre using virtual reality (VR) headsets. VR aids are said to improve the memory recall and attention span of dementia patients. They can also be used to help elderly residents with mobility constra
Senior citizens at St Luke's ElderCare Ayer Rajah Centre using virtual reality (VR) headsets. VR aids are said to improve the memory recall and attention span of dementia patients. They can also be used to help elderly residents with mobility constraints to "travel" to places they want to go.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Virtual reality (VR) devices seem the preserve of young, switched-on techies, but they are having a transformative effect on some elderly folk like Mr Ho Chee Kiong.

When Mr Ho, who has dementia, first entered a senior daycare centre at Ayer Rajah a few months ago, he shunned the activities. Instead, he stood at the gate and shook it violently, demanding to go home.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 21, 2019, with the headline 'Dementia patients take to VR aids'. Print Edition | Subscribe