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Older Adults Can Now Scuba Dive with New Tech

Older Adults Can Now Scuba Dive with New Tech

A tech company helps seniors experience out of this world adventure through virtual tours.

Imagine you’re 80-year-old dad…  scuba diving. No, he won’t be wearing wetsuits or carrying oxygen tanks, silly. But yes, he will still experience the beauty 130 ft deep under the sea - virtually.

Brightlife innovations are offering exciting adventures for senior citizens via virtual technology - real-time, virtual tours of historical destinations, museum, parks and other interesting locations using different kinds of software and hardware technologies. On one virtual tour, Brightlife will take seniors to a virtual trip to a National Park in  California. And with the help of advanced video and audio devices, participants can experience underwater scenery and other wonders of the kelps forests of Channel Islands.

 Brightlife, a Wisconsin-based company, operates under Direct  Supply Innovation Center. It specializes in  “technology-mediated communication”  such as virtual collaboration and video conferencing for companies focused on improving senior living. Direct Supply created the Innovation Center in 2015 which served as a launching pad for new technology for senior living and caregiving community as well.

 According to Josh Silldorff, the founder, and CEO of Brightlife, the virtual tours are a unique offering for seniors.

The virtual tour begins with participants coming together in front of a high definition flat screen television equipped with Brightlife software and HD cameras with microphones. Necessary devices have also been installed at the location of the virtual tour.

At the click of a button, presenters from the virtual tour location and the senior community participants can begin interacting. The whole tour is facilitated by a moderator from Brightlife.

 Brightlife uses different methods so that participants can have the best possible view of the tour site. Street-view of the location is often used. The presenter in the location sometimes holds a camera while explaining what the participants are seeing. Brightlife even uses drones for a breathtaking top view of locations.

According to Silldorf, these technological investments are for ensuring a consistent and coherent view of the tour locations, so that the virtual tour experience can be a powerful, unforgettable one for participants. He also added that so far, the response of seniors who have been participants in virtual tours are all positive.

According to Jaimie Shirley, Director of Operations of Oklahoma-based provider Senior Star, residents of senior communities loved the virtual tours and that it gave seniors a new experience in places they want to go and places they’ve gone before when they were younger.

Kirby Pines, the 60-acre senior care community was also an adopter of Brightlife’s virtual tours. The Memphis-based provider has been doing virtual tours for the past three years.

According to Cheryl Grimes, Life Enhancement Director of Kirby Pines, the experience that these virtual tours stir a lot of memories of seniors - their childhood, their honeymoons and other significant events about a location they’ve been before.  The adventures for senior citizens provided by the virtual tour arouses powerful emotions within them. She observed that all the participants felt good after a virtual tour experience.

Michael Escamilla, Executive Director of Kirby Pines, added that the movie that their theater shows only started having a full house since the first Bright life Virtual tour.

Subscription of these Brightlife’s virtual tour starts at $3,600 per year. They also offer  “Collaboration and Communication” video conferencing for training, meetings, and conferences. Brightlife also offers sample virtual tours for free to interested organizations which provide for 10 or more senior communities.

Senior Star and Kirby Pines explained that Bright Life’s virtual tours are a good investment. It sets a health care provider from others because it's unique and it is clearly a sales tool.

For Silldorf, the most important thing is making sure that residents are satisfied. Brightlife makes sure that residents participate in the improvement of virtual tours through comments and suggestions. This gave way to one of the most fascinating virtual tours where seniors had the chance to interact with a NASA astronaut.

According to Silldorf, the best part of the virtual tours is when residents ask questions and discuss with the presenters. He further adds that listening to what residents have to say is something Brightlife will always stay true to.

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