Gerald Hardychuk has used a wheelchair for 15 years.
The 50-year outdated Kelowna, B.C., man has a number of sclerosis (MS) and lives on the Cottonwoods Prolonged Care House.
“Earlier than he bought his a number of sclerosis, he was extremely energetic,” mentioned Taryn Millway, Hardychuk’s sister. “He did so many issues, bodily and sports activities sensible.”
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However Hardychuk is now in a position to expertise a number of the issues he used to like doing together with new issues because of newly acquired know-how.
“It’s referred to as Rendever Digital Actuality (VR) and it’s an immersive digital actuality platform,” mentioned Lauren Knapton, one of many medical rec therapists at Cottonwoods.
Digital actuality permits folks to placed on a headset and expertise an enormous vary of actions — something from travelling around the globe and sightseeing to strolling by a forest and excessive sports activities like skydiving and mountain climbing.
The know-how provides customers as shut of an expertise as attainable to the true factor.
“Fishing, looking, kayaking, diving with dolphins, safaris, mainly something,” mentioned Knapton.
What it’s prefer to expertise digital actuality for the primary time
IH began utilizing digital actuality in 2020 in the course of the pandemic as a approach to help folks feeling remoted resulting from a scarcity of social interplay.
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“It was a means that we might carry the surface world in, and permit our residents to have these moments of pleasure that they wouldn’t have, particularly over COVID. and we’ve form of simply been rolling it out ever since,” Knapton mentioned.
The know-how is now utilized in 19 Inside Well being-operated amenities.
“As a rec therapist, it’s arduous to program for each single particular person, so it’s lovely having this instrument that we all know we are able to have interaction somebody efficiently,” mentioned Knapton.
It’s mentioned to be having a constructive influence on residents who’re utilizing the know-how.
“We do pre- and post-session evaluations after each session, and constantly all through, each single resident that makes use of VR says that they’re feeling higher after the session,” Knapton mentioned.
On Friday, Hardychuk was requested by medical rec therapist Michelle Wingfield what exercise he wish to expertise this time, giving him a variety of selections.
“Snowmobiling, bike journey, a rollercoaster. What do you assume you’re as much as doing in the present day?” she requested Hardychuk.
He answered, “All of it.”
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When requested what he considered his digital snowboarding in Colorado, Hardychuk mentioned, “It’s candy.”
Hardychuk’s sister Taryn Millway was elated when she was advised the primary time Hardychuk had an opportunity to expertise VR.
“It was simply so cool to listen to that he bought to go on a curler coaster as a result of he hasn’t been out of a wheelchair in 15 years,” Millway advised International Information.
Since then, Hardychuk has tried every kind of utmost sports activities to fill that adrenaline rush want.
“I believe he did just a few issues that had been issues he’s achieved in life and had objectives to do in life earlier than he needed to reside there. So it was simply such a neat thought,” Millway mentioned.
VR can be being utilized by different well being authorities throughout B.C.
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