Virtual reality used for treating dementia at Denver retirement community

DENVER — A southeast Denver retirement community has a new tool in the fight against dementia: virtual reality.

Clermont Park Life Plan Community now uses VR devices to help residents who are dealing with memory loss.

Being with friends, engaging in conversation, even taking an art class or gardening have been some traditional methods of stimulating the brain in treating dementia. Now, VR is also providing brain stimulation.

“It allows them to tap into their memories from experiences that we provide,” said Elizabeth Girling, the director of  assisted living at Clermont Park.

Pauline Lehr, 102, has difficulty sharing memories due to her dementia.

On Thursday, Lehr was able to view images of London as if she were physically there. In reality, she’s been there several times before, but now doesn’t quite remember those trips.

“I  think it’s great. Why not? I mean, we have the technology that’s applicable to this type of condition and they ought to use as much stimulation as they can,” said Pauline’s son, Ron Lehr.

For Pauline, some days are pretty good.

“Then there are  some other days where she’s not around, she’s somewhere else,” her son said.

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