Watch CBS News

MyndVR offers seniors at Long Island nursing center a new way to see the world

MyndVR offers seniors at LI nursing center a new way to see the world
MyndVR offers seniors at LI nursing center a new way to see the world 02:35

KINGS PARK, N.Y. -- As the nation's senior population continues to increase, so does the need for health-related care.

That care includes digital therapy using virtual reality.

At St. Johnland campus in Kings Park, one resident is prepared to go skydiving.

Rita Sandalena, from Brooklyn, is in her 90s and is seeing the world in a new way -- virtually.

"They look like they're dancing," she said.

These residents are spending their golden years in comfort, and yes, their bodies may be less mobile, but not their minds.

"Scary, but thrilling," Sandalena said. "It took me a long time to get to go on a plane, so could you imagine what I saw today."

MyndVR is immersive therapy that allows users to live fuller lives.

"What we've seen with VR is it can help across a wide range of health," said Chris Brickler, CEO and co-founder of MyndVR.

Brickler says he's dedicated to improving the lives of seniors with technology.

"We think VR is a really powerful tool as it relates to the ability to transport and teleport people to different times, places and energy fields," he said.

"This gives me the opportunity to do something that I would love, which is to travel," Levittown native Ronnie Izzo said.

This new tool allows them to satisfy the craving for experiences that are out of their reach.

"We know from science that music ignites part of the brain and activates part of the brain that can stimulate conversation, can stimulate memories," Brickler said.

VR can also be part of physical therapy by enhancing range of motion or improving coordination -- for example, by catching butterflies.

"That was an awesome experience. I mean, I felt like I was really catching butterflies. That was really something," one patient said.

Providing a pathway to joy and reminding everyone that age shouldn't be a barrier to experiencing the world.

"I felt like I was coming out of myself," Sandalena said.

"I got to see these fantastic places ... It makes me happy. I'm saying, 'Oh my god, do you know where I went? I went to Germany,'" Izzo said.

VR is already being used in the health care world to help those living with dementia and Parkinson's.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.