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Posted on May 13 2020 by Bobbie Kelly

Changing Reality: dementia patient stars in university film

85-year-old Drew, a patient in our care, is no stranger to virtual reality (VR). Last year he enjoyed a VR session where he walked with the dinosaurs, and a video of the experience was shared by millions of people on the intranet.

The story grabbed the attention of two students from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, and they recently visited St Andrew's to interview Dr Inga Stewart as part of a film-making project. While here, they also met Drew who was participating in a virtual reality session.

Here's a snippet of the students' documentary, which features some lovely singing from Drew as he saw the Northern Lights through his headset. 

Student filmmaker, Laura Hedges commented:

"Upon meeting Drew, we were absolutely captivated with his love of exploring this new world in virtual reality. It is a perfect example of how VR is revolutionising patient’s lives and we were honoured to have witnessed that first-hand."

Dr Inga Stewart, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, explained:

"It was amazing to watch Drew come to life during the VR video. It demonstrates that VR can be another tool which helps people living with dementia to increase their quality of life.

“We hope in future that we can personalise this experience even more for patients in our care, so for example generating opportunities for people to revisit memorable places from their past.”

More information about our work with virtual reality can be found here