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Disruptive VR as a Tool for a Truly Person-Centered Dementia Care Approach

National United Methodist Church
Disruptive VR as a Tool for a Truly Person-Centered Dementia Care Approach
Contact Member
Start Date
02/03/2020 1:00 pm
End Date
02/03/2020 3:00 pm

Disruptive VR as a Tool for a Truly Person-Centered Dementia Care Approach

Aging services providers and developers are building memory care communities across the country at a rapid pace. As these communities are constructed and opened, dementia care models are being created nearly as quickly. While many of these models offer basic education and training for dementia care, some lack an empathetic approach that can lead to the treatment of residents with the dignity and respect they so deserve. 


12:45- 1:15 - Arrival, Networking, Lunch
1:20 - Program Begins
2:30 - 3 p.m. - Meeting Adjourns - Additional Networking - 

Susan Ryan, senior director of The Green House Project (GHP), will discuss her organization’s innovative approach to dementia care—known as Best Life. Ryan will explore how the four principles of Best Life help organizations support people living with dementia (PLWD) to live rich and rewarding lives by: creating a culture of normalcy that enables individuals to live in the least restrictive environment possible; focusing on their abilities to experience real relationships with pets, nature, and people of all ages, instead of their deficits; illuminating the reality that there is dignity in enabling individuals the right to take risks; and advocating for everyone to have expanded experiences and choices, as well as the right for rehabilitation.

Key to Best Life education is a synergistic virtual reality (VR) tool that immerses its users in the stories of elders who are living with dementia. By putting on the tool’s VR headset and spending a few minutes as an elder, in her world, the user becomes more knowledgeable, more empathetic, and more empowered to provide better care to elders. This VR platform, created by Embodied Labs, offers a very holistic experience of dementia. It not only enables the user to learn about how dementia affects the brain and the ability to process the world around them normally, but also to understand how to create and sustain meaningful connections with individuals living with dementia. 

This highly interactive presentation will give audience members an opportunity to see how the Embodied Labs VR tool works and try it for themselves.

Susan Ryan Bio

Susan Ryan, BSN, MA, has over 25 years of nursing experience with a predominant concentration in the field of gerontology and dementia care. She currently serves as Senior Director of The Green House Project (GHP). Her passion for improving the quality of life for elders has been demonstrated in a variety of settings. Prior to working with GHP, Ryan served on the leadership team of a non-profit continuing care retirement community, where the organization transformed their culture by assessing industry innovation and outcomes and developing strategic and educational protocols. Additionally, her experience includes leadership roles as Director of Nursing for a long-term care facility and as a Geriatric Nurse Educator providing grant-funded programs to support deinstitutionalization of community seniors. She has also worked extensively with older adults in a home care setting. 


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