Enabling Confidence At Home (ECH)
VR, interactive gaming and digital signage for Australia's first care hotel
ECH (Enabling Confidence at Home) is one of the largest integrated providers of retirement village accommodation and ageing care services in South Australia. A registered charity and not-for-profit organisation, the purpose of ECH is to promote self-determination and enable people to live confidently at home and have the best possible life as they age.
A first of its kind in Australia, the CH Care Hotel in Walkerville, Adelaide, is used for short-term recovery stays and dementia respite. The ECH Care Hotel houses state-of-the-art technology, access to nursing and allied health services and hotel-like suites, all of which are designed to provide visible results and improved quality of life to all guests of ECH.
Engagis have worked with ECH to deliver and install digital solutions that would provide a tangible positive effect for ECH’s guests. We supplied OBIE units at the Care Hotel, which has opened up a new world of possibilities for guests to play in. OBIE is an interactive gaming console that projects games onto surfaces such as tabletops and allows users to interact.
Games systems such as OBIE can improve cognitive ability in older people, as well as facilitate greater social interaction, which has been shown to improve mood and overall wellbeing.
Beyond OBIE, the Care Hotel is also home to a Virtual Reality (VR) solution, with six headsets apiece and housed in their own UVC cabinets. The cabinets are portable devices which can store, charge and transport the headsets, all while killing germs including those carrying COVID-19. Virtual Reality allows guests to revisit places from their past, such as their wedding location, experience “bucket-list” destinations they haven’t visited before, or even immerse themselves in a room full of puppies. The six VR headsets can be managed individually by ECH’s wonderful staff, allowing for six guests to all have different experiences at the same time.
The VR units at the Care Hotel are housed in a dedicated sensory room, which is an asset to ECH. Engagis installed a dedicated screen for the sensory room which mimics a fireplace. The artificial fireplace provided by Engagis complements the existing technology in the sensory room, which includes projections on the walls and ceiling of night sky-style lights, and “music domes” which allow the user to immerse themselves in music – all of which are specially designed to help guests relax and unwind.
Beyond the VR, OBIE and fireplace solutions, Engagis also worked with ECH on sourcing and installing a digital screen in the lobby at the Care Hotel which greets staff and guests every day.
While ECH is already positioned at the forefront of digital solutions in home care and short-term recovery, the future still brings exciting opportunities. Looking forward, ECH are in partnership with the University of South Australia as they undertake a research study on the clinical efficacy of Virtual Reality and gaming units for older people. The results of this study will inform how these solutions can be best utilised in South Australia and around the country.
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