Wisconsin Seniors Introduced to Virtual Reality Technology

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As Kathy Helgerson slipped the pair of MINDVR goggles over Rita Strauss’ head, the reaction was instant.”It looks like Midnight!” Strauss, 87, said with glee. “My tomcat.”It’s moments like this that lead Helgerson, Strauss’ daughter and founder of “Simple Steps to Technology” to say she has “the best job in the world.” “It is so powerful, I can’t even tell you,” Helgerson said, tears welling in her eyes at the spark of recognition from her mom, who has Alzheimer’s. “It brings up those memories of the past. … If you had asked my mom about (the cat) normally, she would have forgotten about it.” Two years ago, Helgerson made it her mission to infuse new energy and experiences into the lives of elderly individuals like her mother, connecting them with the excitement and technology of the modern world. Starting with Skype programs and smartphone tutorials, Helgerson has recently branched into virtual reality and wireless headphones, bringing top-of-the-line equipment into local assisted living facilities to enhance the residents’ listening and viewing experiences, the La Crosse Tribune reported.

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