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News archive - May 2016

The virtual reality for patients

The virtual reality for patients

Salford residents living with dementia are taking part in a revolutionary, virtual reality rehabilitation pilot led by a local brain injury charity.

Following £500,000 worth of donations, BASIC, a specialist brain injury charity, has installed a Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN), manufactured by Motekforce Link.

This virtual reality system puts people at the helm of life-size interactive games and activities, exposing them to environments that are physically challenging without putting them in any real danger.

Using CAREN, BASIC has now launched a 12-month pilot known as Virtual Adventures, which has received further funding from Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The pilot is focusing on 30 Salford residents living with mild or moderate dementia, with the aim to help them both physically and mentally and the long-term goal of proving whether people living with the condition can benefit from virtual reality.

This is the first time this state-of-the-art equipment, which is currently used by both the US and Israeli armies to aid the recovery of injured soldiers, has been made available to the public.

Wendy Edge, chief executive at BASIC, said: “I am proud that we are able to introduce this ground-breaking piece of technology to Salford and I look forward to seeing it improve the lives of residents living with mild or moderate forms of dementia.

“Be it a walk through a forest, or skiing down a mountain; people involved in the Virtual Adventures programme are aided in recovery and rehabilitation in a fun, stimulating and, most importantly, a completely-safe environment.”

Dr Tom Tasker, Salford CCG’s clinical lead for mental health, added: “Over the next 12 months, we’ll be looking at how this revolutionary technology can help both the physical and mental wellbeing of people living with dementia.”

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