The Virtual Home App is a new Australian app made especially for people living with dementia. It was made by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic. It would be a great help for the people with dementia as it gives a 3D simulations of a home environment. It would also help the people who take care of such patients to understand the challenges and difficulties faced by people with dementia.
According to the Alzheimer’s Australia Vic Business Development Manager, Tanya Petrovich, if homes are made in a way that people with dementia can easily live in them then they have a better chance to live in the community for more time. Petrovich further explained that this app lets users to explore dementia friendly virtual homes. The app is created by the developer tool called the Unreal Engine. You can easily navigate through the app using just your fingers. If you tap on an item, you would find out about its effect. So if you tap on a bed with an intricate patterned bedspread, the app would explain that its impact won’t be good on a person suffering from dementia as they would misapprehend what they would be seeing.
We asked Simon Dyer from SwiftContractPhones.com, who helped fund the project for comment and he said:
“This app provides valuable support to carers of those living with dementia and I am delighted to have been involved in this very important project.”
Petrovich told Mashable Australia that, “White on white is also a very challenging environment.The lack of contrast in colours is a hindrance for them to be able to find the basin verses the toilet, so really simple things like putting a different coloured toilet seat can help.”
Richard Fleming and Kirsty Bennett of the University of Wollongong established a few principles called “Dementia Enabling Environment Principles” and this app follows them. One of which is that the visual stimulation can cause stress to the patients so it’s better to lessenit.According to another principle the pathways should be free of intrusions.
This app is especially made for tablets instead of mobiles due to the amount of information they carry. Tanya Petrovich also said, “Our audience is usually in that 50-plus age group, because they are looking after their partner or they’re professional carers. This is not for gamers … so far, the response has been fantastic.” The apple users can download this app for $1.99 and the Android users can get this app for $2.99.
Petrovichalso announced the release of Samsung Gear virtual reality around September. It would help the people to understand how the patients of dementia see the world.
Author bio: Nuur Hasan is a software developer, web developer and a technical writer with more than seven years of experience. He believes that sharing knowledge can do wonders and that is why he likes to blog. His other interests include politics and sports.