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Virtual Reality Vacations for Seniors

By Ruby Cemental

With the threat and unknown surrounding COVID-19, many people are canceling or postponing their summer plans. The threat to the senior population from coronavirus is too much to chance a week at the beach or a trip to the mountains. 

In the place of a summer vacation trip, you can treat your senior to a virtual reality vacation. In the modern world, technology allows you to travel to places you'd otherwise never go to, and you can take your loved ones to an amazing destination from their living room. Not only can they have great experiences, but virtual reality can also offer health benefits. To help aging loved ones enjoy this summer, here are a few virtual reality vacations to consider.

Virtual Reality Systems

Virtual reality lets you slip on a pair of goggles to arrive in a completely different world. To enjoy a virtual reality vacation, it’s important to first get the proper equipment. The following companies may be able to provide the tech you’ll need for the ideal virtual vacation.

Viarama

This tech company has enjoyed some success in the field of virtual reality. It uses its own HTC Vive headsets and Google Earth VR to transport seniors to another location. They've been able to take seniors to the location of their wedding or places they visited in their youth. The system also allows people to try previously untried activities, such as mountain climbing or painting. 

MyndVR

Treat your senior loved one to an evening of dancing as Frank Sinatra croons in the background or let them explore the wide-open spaces and natural beauty of America's National Parks. Using 360-degree cameras, MyndVR has captured amazing experiences so that seniors feel like they're there in person. 

Rendever

Rendever is similar to Viarama; it allows seniors to travel to their childhood homes. It also allows them to explore places they've never been before. One unique feature allows more than one person to share the same experience at the same time so you can see what your senior sees as they share their stories. For instance, you might visit their wedding venue and hear the story of their wedding day. 

VR Genie

This non-profit company is run by Equity Labs. It aims to take seniors to amazing locations, such as outer space or the ocean floor. It wants to help seniors safely mark things off their bucket list, such as seeing the cathedral in Florence, without leaving home. 

You can utilize any of these systems to take your senior loved one on an amazing virtual summer vacation. From Paris and the ocean floor to their childhood home and National Parks, virtual reality can take your senior from the mundane to the extraordinary.

Visit Some of the Best Museums of the World

As the coronavirus has sent many people home, museums have looked for ways to engage their patrons. Many of the major museums have digitally uploaded many pieces of art so you can view them on the internet. These museums have created virtual visits to their galleries so everyone can experience some of the best art in the world. From Rembrandt and Renoir to Andy Warhol and Picasso, your senior loved one can virtually tour some of the best museums and their collections. Some of these museums include:

  • British Museum in London
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York
  • Musée d'Orsay in Paris
  • Uffizi Gallery in Florence
  • Museu de Arte de São Paulo
  • National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne
  • National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC
  • Tate Modern in London

More than 15 museums have created virtual visits to their galleries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. All your senior needs is a computer or tablet to take a virtual summer vacation to the world's best art museums. 

Virtually Tour Several Frank Lloyd Wright Homes

In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, architect and builder Frank Lloyd Wright helped to drive the mid-century modern design of homes. He stressed the importance of homes blending in with their natural surroundings. He built homes and office buildings that became iconic for the period. In some cases, he even designed the furnishings in the homes. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy is offering video tours of some of his most famous houses and building each Thursday. Starting at 10:00 am PST, your senior loved one can watch a video tour of a unique property online, including the following locations:

  • Beth Sholom Synagogue
  • Emil Bach House 
  • Fallingwater 
  • Gordon House 
  • Graycliff
  • Hollyhock House
  • Laurent House 
  • Martin House 
  • Muirhead Farmhouse
  • Samara 
  • Seth Peterson Cottage
  • Taliesin West 

Each video lasts around half an hour. It's a great virtual escape for your senior from their isolation routine. 

Virtual Visits to Zoos and Theme Parks

Nothing says summer vacation quite like zoos and theme parks. While your senior loved one probably doesn't want to ride a virtual roller coaster, they might really enjoy a virtual boat ride through Disney's It's a Small World attraction. With the theme parks and zoo shuttered due to social distancing and sheltering in place, they've created virtual experiences for guests to try out. 

Your senior can enjoy a virtual day at the zoo or explore Epcot's various countries. There are several zoos and theme parks who offer virtual visits and live webcam footage of the adorable animals, including: 

  • Cincinnati Zoo
  • Atlanta Zoo
  • Georgia Aquarium
  • Houston Zoo
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • San Diego Zoo
  • Disney's Magic Kingdom
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • Disney's Epcot
  • LEGOLAND in Florida
  • Seaworld Orlando

Some of these virtual attractions are done through webcams while others are immersive videos. They're all designed to provide your senior with a pleasant experience of visiting the park or attraction.

At Caring Senior Service, we understand how important it is for seniors to stay home during this time. But we also know that this can lead to isolation and frustration. With summer vacation cancellations, you can still treat your senior parent to a virtual vacation or a virtual stroll through one of the world's best museums. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer. 

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Ruby Cemental Blog Author

 

Tags: Senior Activities

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