Bringing The Outdoors Indoors: Immersive Experiences of Recreation in Nature and Coastal Environments in Residential Care Homes

Authors

  • Caroline Scarles School of Hospitality and Tourism Management University of Surrey
  • Naomi Klepacz School of Psychology University of Surrey
  • Suzanne van Even School of Health Sciences University of Surrey
  • Jean-Yves Guillemaut Centre for Voice, Signal and Speech Processing University of Surrey
  • Michael Humbracht School of Hospitality and Tourism Management University of Surrey

Keywords:

immersive experience, virtual reality, multisensory, recreation, nature, health

Abstract

This paper critiques the opportunities afforded by immersive experience technology to create stimulating, innovative living environments for long-term residents of care homes for the elderly. We identify the ways in which virtual mobility can facilitate reconnection with recreational environments. Specifically, the project examines the potential of two assistive and immersive experiences; virtual reality (VR) and multisensory stimulation environments (MSSE). Findings identify three main areas of knowledge contribution. First, the introduction of VR and MSSE facilitated participants re-engagement and sharing of past experiences as they recalled past family holidays, day trips or everyday practices. Secondly, the combination of the hardware of the VR and MSSE technology with the physical objects of the sensory trays created alternative, multisensual ways of engaging with the experiences presented to participants. Lastly, the clear preference for the MSSE experience over the VR experience highlighted the importance of social interaction and exchange for participants.

Author Biographies

Caroline Scarles, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management University of Surrey

Caroline Scarles is Professor of Technology in Society in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey. Her research interests focus on the visual and multisensory experiences in tourism, immersive technologies in tourism, and socio-cultural sustainability in tourism.

Naomi Klepacz, School of Psychology University of Surrey

Naomi Klepacz is a Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Surrey. Her research interests lie in the area of applied health psychology with a focus on the development and implementation of digital health solutions in healthcare settings.

Suzanne van Even, School of Health Sciences University of Surrey

Suzanne van Even is a Research Officer at the School of Health Sciences at the University of Surrey. Her current research interests include the use of digital and immersive technology in the context of supporting patients with long-term conditions as well as strategies to enhance healthy ageing

Jean-Yves Guillemaut, Centre for Voice, Signal and Speech Processing University of Surrey

Jean-Yves Guillmaut is a Senior Lecturer in 3D computer vision in the Centre for Voice, Signal and Speech Processing at the University of Surrey. His research centres on scene modelling from multi-view video input, with a focus on complex dynamic scenes.

Michael Humbracht, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management University of Surrey

Michael Humbracht is a Lecturer in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey. His research interests lie specifically in the field of migration, tourism and health.

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Published

2020-01-01

How to Cite

Scarles, C., Klepacz, N., van Even, S., Guillemaut, J.-Y. and Humbracht, M. (2020) “Bringing The Outdoors Indoors: Immersive Experiences of Recreation in Nature and Coastal Environments in Residential Care Homes”, e-Review of Tourism Research, 17(5). Available at: https://journals.tdl.org/ertr/index.php/ertr/article/view/555 (Accessed: 16January2021).

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Section

Articles