A centre that supports people with neurological conditions has introduced virtual reality technology – in a bid to help residents relax.
The Sue Ryder Dee View Court facility in Kincorth has introduced the use of the technology via a VR headset.
The centre has 22 beds and caters for people living with complex needs and neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, acquired brain injury and cerebral palsy.
VR can show residents a number of different scenarios which can be tailored to their interests, such as a beach, jungle or scuba diving.
It joins a number of other services already offered, including physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.
Bosses at the centre said that initial feedback from staff and guests has been extremely positive.
Evaluations have been carried out by nurses, which have shown marked reductions in blood pressure and pain levels in those who have made use of virtual reality.
It has been so successful in Aberdeen that it is now going to be rolled out across other Sue Ryder centres in the UK.
Louise Torrance, head of care at Sue Ryder’s Dee View Court, said: “In everyone that has used the technology, straight away we can see their moods are uplifted.
“They’re taken to a happy place where they’re even more relaxed, with lower blood pressure levels. This is extremely encouraging and comforting, not just for the service users but for their families and staff too – it’s wonderful to see.”
One of the residents who has made use of the technology is 65-year-old Kathleen Robertson, who due to being in a wheelchair often finds it tricky or impossible to visit many places.
She has been using VR to visit the beach, which has let her see the sea and sky and hear seagulls.
Kathleen said: “It feels like I’m actually at the beach.”
Dee View Court is fundraising to expand its services, which will allow it to care for another 20 people.
A survey was also recently launched on opening a new drop-in neuro support hub in Aberdeenshire, with Inverurie and Peterhead being considered.
Staff are looking for opinions from people living with a neurological condition, to help determine the need for a centre and identify any gaps in support offered.
To take part, visit surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SueRyderNeuro SupportHub