The Mount Gambier Library will bring Virtual Reality technology to local residents in aged care facilities as part of an immersive storytelling project. It follows SA Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade’s announcement that a $16,900 Age Friendly SA grant will support the roll out of the initiative, as one of eight successful projects across the state.
The immersive storytelling project will combine the use of Virtual Reality (VR) technology, oral history recordings and photographs from the Les Hill Historic Collection to create customised local content as a way of promoting mental, social and emotional health for those in aged care.
“An emerging trend across the world is the use of VR technologies as therapy with the aim of improving the quality of life of those in care,” Library Manager Georgina Davison said.
“Immersive storytelling takes this a step further to create local content from memories, images and stories of residents and overlays it with footage from the current day. The library will work with residents to provide commentary on their memories of the places featured.”
The project focuses on the ageing population and also promotes lifelong learning, tourism, community and environment, indigenous heritage and will be of benefit to people with a disability.
“This customisation and local content is a significant point of difference between the current offerings for VR experiences, and the storytelling will engage aged residents directly through their personal experiences.”
Mrs Davison said the project is aligned with Council’s Regional Public Health Plan 2015 – 2020 and will introduce older or disabled local residents to new technologies. This will enable some to virtually ‘visit’ places they may not have been able to access in years.
The natural surrounds of Mount Gambier are stunning, but because many of our most popular attractions are either at the bottom of a sinkhole or at the top of a volcanic crater, they are inaccessible to those with mobility issues, age or disability. This initiative gives people a chance to revisit these areas.- Library Manager Georgina Davison
The Mount Gambier Library is identified as a key contributor to the wellbeing of the ageing population through the provision of programs that encourage social connectedness and inclusion as well as lifelong learning opportunities for people of all ages. It acts as a meeting place, provides digital literacy lessons and volunteer opportunities.
Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on 8721 2401 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Office for Ageing Well, Age Friendly SA Grants, supporting projects that contribute to an age friendly South Australia by encouraging innovation and kick-starting sustainable longer term projects at the local level.