Delivering a Session

Cartoon by Simon Kneebone - No physical contact without warning

Start off with some information about VR and let residents take a look at the headsets and controllers. Answer any questions people may have. This is also the time to check in with residents about their own preferences and any health issues that may affect their experience.

TIP: Use our sample profile form to collect information for each resident.

Individual Questions

  • Do you have any illnesses we should be aware of that may affect you while using VR? (Some examples: dizziness, motion sickness, blood pressure).
  • Do you have any specific phobias?
  • What type of experience would you like to try?
  • Would you like to do something you’ve done before? For example, visit a place you’ve been to previously. Or would you want to experience something new? For example, swim with dolphins?

Map out the Safe Zone

  • You will need to set up a “Guardian” area on the floor around a participant before putting their VR headset on (see video – under development). We have found the best way to do this is to stand directly behind the stated resident, set the height to their eye level, and draw the guardian boundary at least 1.5 metres in diameter around them, as seen in the accompanying picture – Overhead view of a Guardian system drawn around a seated resident.
  • Launch your chosen app.
Drawing of Guardian safe zone around a seated VR user

Putting the headset on

  • Show the participants the headset and how to place it on their heads. (TIP: Place the headset on as if you’re putting on a pair of glasses.)
  • If the resident wears glasses for reading, they can be kept on (make sure the glasses attachment is used, to ensure comfort). However, if they use glasses for long distances, it’s OK to remove the glasses.
  • Assist if necessary, but ASK permission to help adjust the headset or volume.
  • Ask if the volume is at a comfortable level so they can hear the experience and hear you simultaneously.
  • Check to see how each resident reacts to the experience and keep monitoring their enjoyment.
    Questions to ask residents during their VR experience:

    • What can you see?
    • Where are you?
    • How are you feeling?
    • Do you want to try more?

Removing the headset

  • At the end of the experience, lightly touch the resident’s shoulder and inform them that you are going to remove the headset. Begin to loosen the head strap and remove from the back first, then lightly take off from their face. Be aware of glasses as you remove the headset.
  • Clean and sanitise the headset.

Wrapping up

After their VR session, try asking residents the following (or similar) questions:

  • Is there anywhere you’d like to visit again, like where you grew up?
  • What kind of things do you love doing, or would like to experience again?
  • Is there anywhere you’ve always wanted to visit?
  • Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do?

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see the enjoyment on their faces and allowing them to experience this.” Personal Support Worker

Store the headsets until the next session, and don’t forget to charge them!


Download: VR Session Profile Form

Safe Zone video (under development)