AFTER doctors diagnosed his grandfather with dementia, entrepreneur Jarrah Cohen decided to create a service to help those in aged care escape their physical and mental limitations.

Mr Cohen headed a trial run of his virtual reality system, Nomad VR, at the Blue Care Aged Care facility in Toowoomba on Friday, allowing the residents to interact with peaceful environments from the comfort of their seats.

"The catalyst was seeing my grandfather in a dementia ward," Mr Cohen said.

"Seeing the low stimulus environment he was in, a window overlooking the carpark, free-to-air television playing in the background, made me decide to bring VR into aged care."

He said the list of scenarios curated by Nomad VR gave people the freedom to explore new situations and relive past experiences.

Bluecare resident Malcolm Hamilton 74 years old with Nomad VR CEO and founder Jarrah Cohen at Blue Care Toowoomba Aged Care Facility. Friday, 10th may, 2019.
Bluecare resident Malcolm Hamilton 74 years old with Nomad VR CEO and founder Jarrah Cohen at Blue Care Toowoomba Aged Care Facility. Friday, 10th may, 2019. Nev Madsen

"I wanted to focus on how we help make a more stimulating environment, helping them to stay curious, which can improve people's well-being," he said.

Mr Cohen said the residents had received the technology well, with the group sessions often eliciting plenty of laughter.

"It can also bring a profound emotional reaction sometimes, especially when we line up the experience with someone's passion," Mr Cohen said.

"We had a marine biologist who at 60 had suffered a stroke and lost the ability to speak or use his legs.

"He had spent 19 years being wheeled around when he had been used to diving with whales.

"When we showed him a whale encounter on the VR system, it was overwhelming for him - he got to experience something that he loved."

Blue Care Aged Care resident Malcolm Hamilton, 74, trialled the new technology, choosing a scuba diving experience.

"We live in a wonderful age; they can make things so realistic," Mr Hamilton said.

"I think of my great-grandfather - he would have never got to experience something like this.

"It's up to all of us to understand that older people may have not had the experience, but if you can show them, they would love to try it."



Gladstone ambulance ramping top-performing for state

premium_icon Gladstone ambulance ramping top-performing for state

Wait times at Gladstone Hospital are some of the best in the state.

Gladstone man says he didn't steal wallet, he 'found' it

premium_icon Gladstone man says he didn't steal wallet, he 'found' it

But the man used several of the victim's cards

Silly selfie lands Gladstone dad in prison

premium_icon Silly selfie lands Gladstone dad in prison

POLICE arrest man after finding photos on his phone