Virtual Reality, Assisted Living, and Older Adult/Adult Children Relationships

[From UCSB news] Once a device limited to science fiction, virtual reality (VR) has made its way into everyday life. Now, a group of researchers and entrepreneurs, including UC Santa Barbara communication professor Tamara Afifi and social psychology professor Nancy Collins, are bringing VR to assisted living facilities, harnessing its power in a profound way. With a grant from the National Institutes of Health, Afifi, an expert in interpersonal health communication, is partnering with the virtual reality company Rendever to test a new development in VR technology — long-distance synchronization — and how it might help residents, particularly those experiencing cognitive decline, stay in better touch with their families.

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Also see KCET news story (print and video), Virtual Reality study connects Maravilla residents with loved ones far away.