Toronto Metropolitan University
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Virtual tourism for older adults living in residential care: A mixed-methods study

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posted on 2024-04-10, 16:52 authored by Alexandra FioccoAlexandra Fiocco, Geneva Millett, Danielle D'Amico, Laura Krieger, Yadurshana Sivashankar, Seung Hwan Lee, Richard Lachman

Due to financial and mobility barriers, a majority of older adults living in collective dwellings are no longer able to engage in tourism, a leisure activity that contributes to quality of life and wellbeing. Immersive Virtual Reality (VR) may serve as a programmatic tool to facilitate tourism. This pilot study examined the effects of VR tourism exposure on indices of psychosocial wellbeing among older adults living in residential care. Using a mixed-methods study design, 18 older adults were exposed to VR tourism three times a week, over six weeks. Participants reported decreased anxiety and fatigue immediately following exposure, and increased social engagement and quality of life following six weeks of VR tourism. Qualitative data offered additional insight on the process by which VR tourism may enhance wellbeing. Findings suggest that immersive VR tourism may be a viable program for older adults in residential care.

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    Psychology

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