The Usefulness of Using Virtual Reality to Assess Elderly and Dementia Friendly Hospital Design

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Architectural Environment, Design Assessment, Elderly Care, Dementia


Virtual reality (VR) provides unique tool to conduct leading-edge research in several areas with the overarching mandate of providing innovative solutions in a manner, which ensures connectivity and adaptability of interdisciplinary research such as, architectural and medical research to changing technologies. The Patient safety movement is creating a “culture” where the omission and commission of clinical actions are minimized. Thereby, reducing risk of harm often related to such events as medication errors and falls. With great increase in older adults’ health care expenses, assessing physical environment is becoming essential to reduce patient’s injuries during hospitalization and optimally reduce the cost of health care resulting from these injuries. This review focuses on the usefulness of using virtual reality in assessing the effect of architectural design on mental health disorders. It also suggests future directions for the use of virtual reality so it can be implemented to improve hospital physical design to mitigate injuries sustained by older patients suffering from dementia. Furthermore, major virtual reality test mediums, and the critique over using them in the assessment of architectural environments will be discussed.


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