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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-28

Virtual reality and its therapeutic uses in the elderly: A narrative clinical review

1 Clinical Psychologist, Desousa Foundation, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Avinash De Sousa
Carmel, 18, St. Francis Road, Off SV Road, Santacruz West, Mumbai - 400 054, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jgmh.jgmh_8_20

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Virtual reality (VR) as a form of therapy has made rapid strides in the field of psychiatry and neurorehabilitation. This paper is a narrative clinical review that provides an overview of the use of VR therapy (VRT) in care for elderly. It covers various uses of VR in elderly care that span from dementia, neurorehabilitation, and stroke to role of VR in psychotherapeutic management for the elderly. The uses of VR as therapy for dementia and various areas that it focuses on such as executive function, cognition, memory, and visuospatial navigation are discussed. The role of VRT in cognitive training and motor rehabilitation after stroke along with exergames is analyzed as well. The paper also looks at VR as a part of the treatment for treatment-resistant hallucinations and geriatric depression. Using VR as an adjuvant to psychotherapy and in reminiscence therapy is also discussed. The article ends by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of VR in the elderly along with future research needs in the area.

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