Virtual reality comes to Pearl River County Hospital & Nursing Home – WDAM

POPLARVILLE, Miss. (WDAM) – Imagine traveling the world without leaving your bedroom. Some Pearl River County Nursing Home residents are living, or re-living, their dreams thanks to a local group of students.
Phi Theta Kappa has an Honors In Action program where they strive to help the community. This semester, they focused on the “Art and Science of Play.”
Through a grant, they were able to get two Oculus headsets to the nursing home for residents’ enjoyment.
Lauren-Anne Lagasse, the vice president of scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa, said the reason they chose to donate these headsets to the nursing home was to give the residents a new way to play.
“We decided that we would focus on the older generation because when you hear ‘play’ a lot of times you focus on children, and the older generation kind of gets pushed to the back, and people don’t really focus on them,” said Lauren-Anne. “We wanted to be able to bring different experiences to someone who might not be able to have them.”
Virtual Reality has since become a big hit with the residents. They have been able to travel from the comfort of their own room or be able to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air while using the headsets.
Amanda Knight, the activities director at the nursing home, said she sees more of a positive reaction from the residents than she expected.
“I’ve seen reactions from residents that I didn’t think would ever enjoy this that absolutely love it and ask for it a lot,” said Knight.
Knight said they bring out the headsets about once a month, but many residents ask for more time with the headsets.
Phi Theta Kappa is already discussing expanding this program into other nursing homes around South Mississippi.
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