FrailtySIM is a Virtual Reality learning tool that is designed to raise awareness and understanding of frailty, and develop empathy for those living with the condition.
Around half of the population aged 65 and over are estimated to be living with some level of frailty. That equates to around 6 million people in the UK today, of which around 2 million will need some help and support with everyday living. FrailtySIM aims to highlight opportunities to improve their quality of life.
Access three VR scenarios:
• Become Victor: Based on a gentleman called Victor, it provides the user with the opportunity to “walk” in the shoes of an older person living with frailty, and enables the user to experience the vulnerability of functional losses associated with frailty and ageing. The impairments include mobility, vision, hearing and cognition.
• Being Jane: Designed to promote observational skills, learners are tasked with identifying clues as to what’s important to Victor, his current state of mind, potential risks and sources of resilience within his home.
• Walking through Frailty: Users can select Fit, Mild, Moderate or Severe Frailty and compare the impact of different levels of frailty on their ability to carry out basic everyday tasks. Learners gain insight into the type of support most relevant to someone living with each level of frailty.
The use of VR, and ability to interact with the environment, activates a wider range of senses and emotions than traditional educational experiences. It helps users to understand the support and care that the older person living with frailty needs to be able to do the things that are important to them in remaining active and independent.
Deployed for individual or group learning, at a time or place to suit learners’ needs, this innovative tool combines widely available software, affordable VR hardware, and easy to use supporting resources; making it a flexible and scalable way to build frailty core capabilities.
Victor’s story and innovative Virtual Reality technology combine to produce memorable learning experiences that will:
- Increase awareness and understanding of frailty as a long term condition;
- Build empathy by providing the opportunity to ‘walk’ in the shoes of Victor, an older person living with frailty;
- Develop observational skills to support person-centred care;
- Highlight the importance and interaction of the different aspects of an older person’s life and how different levels of frailty affect them;
- Encourage people to think and behave differently.
FrailtySIM forms part of the Frailty360 learning programme. Access key learning resources at www.frailty360.org.
We would like to thank Victor and his daughter Kath for working so closely with us on the initial development of FrailtySIM and associated resources. They have very kindly shared their personal stories and opened up their home to support this programme of learning. Whilst the environment is computer generated, the FrailtySIM scenario is based on Victor’s situation in the recent past. In recognition of this and what’s important to Victor, we are donating £1 of every purchased download to his chosen charity.
Thanks also to:
• Workforce development leaders in Nottinghamshire that instigated the Health Education England funded Frailty Toolkit & Training programme in 2015 which enabled the initial prototype to be developed and tested.
• Virtual Reality Simulations Solutions that have turned the ideas into software.
• Ufi Charitable Trust for provided funding and support as a Voctech Seed 2016 project
• A leading home care provider for their involvement in the User testing during the Voctech project.
• Over 2,000 users who have provided feedback that has been essential in enabling a process of continuous improvement.
Minimum requirements for FrailtySIM: Android 5.1 and up, OpenGL ES 2.0 support, 2 GB RAM or more, gyroscope and a magnetometer/compass, screen size 4.5" or larger.