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Senior community sees benefit in using virtual reality

Growing old doesn’t mean staying behind with technology. A local senior community is using virtual reality to transport its residents anywhere in the world.

Residents at White Sands senior community in La Jolla have access to Rendever, virtual reality technology.

White Sands resident Lily Mauricio started her Thursday morning by climbing Mt. Everest — virtually.


“I've always wanted to go to the base camp of Mt. Everest and my daughter did. She climbed up to 18,000 feet which is half the height,” Mauricio said. “I felt like I shared my daughter's experience … It was good.”

Residents can put on the virtual reality goggles and pick the experience they want. It could be swimming with dolphins, a hot air balloon ride over Portugal, or even a visit to their childhood neighborhood.

Retired NBC7 journalist Gene Cubbison is another White Sands resident who enjoys using the VR.

“This is great and especially now that we’re recounting what we saw and what we lived through,” he said.

White Sands activity director Pat Guerrero said the technology benefits the seniors in many ways.


“We’d be able to take residents who couldn’t get out of the community on an adventure somewhere out of the community. So we’ve been using it with skilled nursing, assisted living, memory care and independent residents, and also using it for psychosocial, any kind of needs,” she said.

Kyle Rand helped develop Rendever to prevent the older generation's world from shrinking.

“(We're) very much on a mission to reduce social isolation within the aging population," Rand said. "It's something that I saw happening with one of my loved ones. It's something we've seen happen time and time again, and we realized there was an opportunity to help people connect through the power of shared experiences."

Rand says Rendever’s virtual reality is a holistic investment that many senior living facilities are starting to make.