Traveling thanks to virtual reality is now possible for the residents of the Saint-Martin-Osmonville nursing home

We set off, accompanied by Alina, for a dog sled ride in Réallon, near Embrun. A moment we enjoyed together. (©Neufchâtel Awakening)

Dog sledding, visiting Venice, Paris or even going to the farm, but also rediscovering the places of their childhood or relaxing, this is what is offered to the residents ofEhpad the Norman House IN Saint-Martin-Osmonvilleclose to Saint-Saens (Seine-Maritime), for several weeks. And all this is forgiven virtual reality headset and without getting motion sickness.

A moment of relaxation and escape

For five to seven minutes, people without contraindications can, through images and sound, escape and travel to familiar or unfamiliar places.

Upstream, we engage in a discussion with them to prepare them for this moment. An intro is then played to set the scene for the video. Then, after the helmet is put on, the residents take advantage of this moment, relaxing for them.

Charlotte LemarchandInstitutional psychologist

A few minutes that evoke memories, awaken positive emotions and take them out of their everyday life.

Thanks to a tablet, it is possible for us to see the video at the same time as them and to engage in a discussion to stimulate them about what they see, to make them express their emotions and sometimes bring pleasant memories.

Charlotte Lemarchand

A little extra: the other residents have the opportunity, thanks to a television broadcast, to escape even without the helmet in sight.

Senses fully awakened

An opportunity for us to test the virtual reality headset. Accompanied by Alina, the resident, we set out for a dog sled ride.

And it was very pleasant. Dazzling white snow in winter, the dogs were excited to go for a ride, and we, sometimes as observers or actors, in tow.

For a few minutes, as if we were really living the moment. And Alina, moreover, did not hesitate to express her joy.

Videos: currently on Actu

I really enjoyed seeing the dogs. I also had a Husky with blue eyes. And it’s also the first time I’ve been able to go dog sledding.


A tool with many virtues

A device “to which they are open, more than we can think. And besides getting them to travel, it allows them to socialize during an anxiety attack,” notes Charlotte Lemarchand.

This in no way diminishes our work upstream and downstream of exchanges with them to manage it.

Charlotte Lemarchand

10 of the 18 residents have already tried the experience. And for now, I like that. “It’s a great tool for social connections,” reveals social life coordinator Élise Delattre. They make it possible to start topics of conversation with the staff, other residents but also with the family. “But not only.

Virtual reality headsets are tools that allow you to observe their cognitive abilities. Indeed, videos prompt them to be alert.

Nursing staff

To ease the pain

In addition, “we are considering the introduction of this device during slightly more painful treatments to observe if they make it possible to reduce the pain at the T moment, add Élise Delattre and Charlotte Lemarchand. There is a whole body of work about non-drug therapy. »

Virtual reality headset, a technology that disrupts routine moments, relaxes and shows that fun and health can be connected.

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