POSTED ON MONDAY, July 20, 2020 

Many hospices are starting to use virtual reality (VR) in order to reduce pain, anxiety and feelings of isolation for patients. Hospice Savannah worked with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) to develop a VR program, and it is having a positive impact.

“I had just started at Hospice Savannah a little over a year ago when I met Teri Yarbrow, SCAD virtual reality professor, before the virtual reality program was set up as a class at SCAD and more of a vision for volunteer community work,” said Kathleen Benton, president and CEO. “As the only community non-profit hospice in town, I wanted more inner workings within community-run organizations that set us apart more for our patients and families because of the rapport already built. I had also lost a brother not too long ago who was a student there in industrial design. He was very dependent on technology as a patient himself who had a chronic and terminal illness his whole life. I can remember when the first VR came out and it helped him with anxiety and mentally just to escape the imprisonment of his bed and of his body. Proteus Syndrome had a stronghold on him every day pain- and mobility-wise. He was trapped, and VR gave that escape to him.”

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