Lakewood residents enjoy new virtual rehabilitation system

By Ann Lovell

RICHMOND, Virginia—Most people may not enjoy the physical rehab required after an accident or injury. But residents at Lakewood, a LifeSpire of Virginia continuing care retirement community in Richmond’s West End, are having fun with a new virtual rehabilitation system called Omni VR.

Tania Adams is Lakewood’s Director of Rehabilitation. Lakewood recently introduced the system, geared for rehabilitation and geriatric needs, Adams says. The system allows residents to enjoy the rehab experience while giving therapists information they need to provide quality care.

“We can print the results … and that gives us the functional information we need for Medicare,” Adams says. “It also gives us the accuracy for each exercise … and we can gear our treatment plans to that.”

Sue Watkins, who came to Lakewood for short-term nursing care and has now decided to stay, is one of the first to make use of the new technology. Watkins is learning to use her wheelchair in her new apartment, and one of Omni VR’s games allows her to manipulate the wheelchair to “cut” an on-screen flower.

The virtual system allows residents to play video games while working on a variety of rehabilitation needs, including balance, gait, upper extremities and wheelchair mobility, Adams says. The therapist selects the level of difficulty and adapts the settings to the patient’s needs. For example, screen graphics may distract residents with dementia or neurological impairments, so the therapist can turn the graphic option off.

“This has been great for our residents who tired of using the same machines over and over again,” Adams says. “The residents have so much fun.”

Ann Lovell is corporate director of communications for LifeSpire of Virginia, formerly Virginia Baptist Homes. For more information, email or call (804) 521-9192.

LifeSpire of Virginia operates four continuing care retirement communities in Virginia: The Chesapeake in Newport News, The Culpeper in Culpeper, The Glebe in Daleville and Lakewood in Richmond.