SHAFAQNA- A CARE home in York has shown its residents get up to much more than bingo and dominoes – by introducing them to Snapchat and virtual reality headsets.
The headsets, which take users on rollercoasters and swimming among tropical fish, have proved popular among residents at Rosevale care home in Wigginton.
They were introduced to the devices by activities co-ordinator Sarah Fearn, who noticed her six-year-old son loved using his new virtual reality headset so she brought it into the home to see whether the technology could fit someone a lifetime older.
Sarah was mindful that what makes us happy in childhood often makes us happy at every point in our lives.
She said underwater diving had proved to be the most popular: “Some people were hesitant to use the headset but once they saw other people doing it they wanted to try it. They were talking about the sounds and the colours they could see.”
Meanwhile, the lounge was left roaring with laughter as Sarah taught them to use Snapchat as a virtual dressing up box, transforming their faces at the touch of a screen.
“Never mind the big teeth or the flowers in the hair, do you have a button that makes me 21 again?” said Dinah Everard.
Sarah said she was inspired to introduce residents to new technology as they had expressed an interest having spoken about it with young staff at the home, and had quickly picked up playing games on a touch screen computer.
Ian Donaghy, who has worked with Sarah, said: “Throughout life many of us fear change.
“People of all ages can feel threatened by technology but when introduced by someone as fun and empathetic as Sarah it holds no fears. Technology and innovation doesn’t have an age limit nor does laughter.
“It is there to entertain and connect us, creating a feeling of community and togetherness.
“You know an activity has worked well when 90-year-olds are showing their great-grandchildren how to pull funny faces on an ipad.”