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‘It gives me a reason to get up in the morning’: How virtual reality tech is helping seniors cope with isolation and depression


In 2019, Carleigh Berryman began her virtual reality journey when she started her company, Viva Vita, just before the COVID-19 pandemic. She would fit goggle headsets on the residents at senior communities, enriching the lives of those who were no longer able to travel safely. However, due to the pandemic and subsequent closure of vital senior programs, Berryman and her team were forced to develop tech that could be used with COVID-19 protocols in place. In 2021, she took TODAY inside Iona Senior Services in Washington, D.C., where the Viva Vita virtual reality tours program continues to help seniors connect to the world without leaving their homes.