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The 50-year outdated Kelowna, B.C., man has a number of sclerosis (MS) and lives on the Cottonwoods Prolonged Care Dwelling.
“Earlier than he obtained his a number of sclerosis, he was extremely lively,” mentioned Taryn Millway, Hardychuk’s sister. “He did so many issues, bodily and sports activities sensible.”
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However Hardychuk is now capable of expertise a few of the issues he used to like doing together with new issues due to 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 scientific rec therapists at Cottonwoods.
Digital actuality permits folks to placed on a headset and expertise an unlimited vary of actions — something from travelling world wide and sightseeing to strolling by a forest and excessive sports activities like skydiving and mountain climbing.
The know-how offers customers as shut of an expertise as doable to the actual factor.
“Fishing, looking, kayaking, diving with dolphins, safaris, mainly something,” mentioned Knapton.
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IH began utilizing digital actuality in 2020 throughout the pandemic as a technique to assist folks feeling remoted attributable to a scarcity of social interplay.
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“It was a means that we might deliver 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 type 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 laborious to program for each single individual, so it’s stunning having this device that we all know we are able to interact 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 scientific rec therapist Michelle Wingfield what exercise he want to expertise this time, giving him quite a few decisions.
“Snowmobiling, motorbike journey, a rollercoaster. What do you suppose you’re as much as doing at the moment?” 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 obtained 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 a couple of issues that had been issues he’s accomplished in life and had objectives to do in life earlier than he needed to stay there. So it was simply such a neat concept,” Millway mentioned.
VR can be being utilized by different well being authorities throughout B.C.
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