Virtual reality to understand a person insane

News 15 March, 2018
  • Photo Stephanie Gendron
    Thanks to virtual reality, Catherine Chouinard and Marylou Mercier, workers, have experienced what can live in the demented people, which will allow them to better understand them.

    Stephanie Gendron

    Thursday, march 15, 2018 14:26

    Thursday, march 15, 2018 14:26

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    SAINT-JEAN-PORT-JOLI | stakeholders who work in accommodation centres for seniors in Chaudière-Appalaches were in shock after having been able to experience, through virtual reality, what you feel and see the demented people that they accompany every day.

    The virtual reality headsets and headphones to immerse participants in the realities of Edie, a man with dementia who gets up in the middle of the night to go urinate.

    The technology allows you to see that he sees evil in the shadows, hallucinations bring him to believe that a stranger is in the room and that some of the patterns on the walls and floors give the impression that a rug is a black hole into which it may fall.

    “It is hard-hitting. It makes us more empathetic, being in the shoes of Edie,” says Marylou Mercier, an intervener in an accommodation centre of the region of L’islet. Her colleagues and she will receive this week-this training uses virtual reality, a first in Canada.


    This technology makes the experience very real. The stakeholders understood the human heart denies to beat harder when his wife is in a hurry or when he is hallucinating and feeling almost his shame, when he found that he had urinated in a laundry basket, when he was persuaded to have it done in the toilet.

    “When we see it, we can’t forget,” said the trainer, Marie-France Dozois, who is the owner of CDS Store, Sherbrooke, and has purchased the license of the training in australia, the fruit of two and a half years of research. “All stakeholders should take this training”, she believes. Relatives are also involved.

    The fact of having lived for a few minutes in the skin of a person insane, could guide the actions of the specialized educator Catherine Chouinard. She cites the example of a time when Edie is caught up in the frames and hung on the wall of the corridor to avoid the “hole” that represents the carpet to his eyes. “Previously, we would have maybe thought of dropping the frames, thinking that he only wanted to walk along the walls, so that all he need to do for that is remove the carpet,” said the speaker.


    In addition to this training, the staff of the CHSLD Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Saint-Eugène and Sainte-Perpétue now uses trolleys to stimulation, which include, among others, an old radio with music from another time, heating pads and soft that smell of lavender and a cat plush that meows, chatters, purrs, and moves. “The tools help reduce the restlessness and anxiety some seniors in focusing their attention on a meaningful activity for them,” said Christine Pelletier, technician in special education at the CISSS of Chaudière-Appalaches. There are also low, that an elder can sort by pairs, an activity that has meaning to it and that is good for his dignity.