Opéra Garnier, Image credit: iStock
At the beginning of spring, in a time frame when life is supposed to resume and the terraces fill up again, a flower blooms. TheThe Opera de Paris is committed to EHPAD. The system implemented will allow residents of about 40 institutions across France to benefit from virtual reality headsets suitable for the elderly. By broadcasting excerpts from opera and ballet, these virtual speakers will bring back opera and culture to the people hardest hit by coronavirus-related isolation.
A common commitment
This initiative is the result of a joint commitment between Paris Opera, the Crédit Agricole Foundation for Solidarity and Development and FEHAP, the Association of Private Hospitals, Solidarity and Personal Assistance. Through Operation # TousMobilisésPourNosAînés, the Crédit Agricole Foundation allocated 21 million euros in assistance to more than 810,000 beneficiaries in 6,000 buildings at the start of the pandemic. The purpose of this emergency fund was to maintain social ties and protect caregivers and the elderly. As for FEHAP, it works with the help of its 5,000 members in 1500 management organizations, to improve the quality and performance of the Federation’s member hospitals and health institutions. A partnership has also been established with VR4GOOD. This will provide the default headphones for the Paris Opera and various nursing homes. Through virtual reality, VR4GOOD delivers care in the form of a therapeutic immersion in hospitals and nursing homes. This treatment has anti-stress and pain-relieving properties. VR4GOOD in particular offers space immersion with Thomas Pasquet, or even excursions in wild natural environments.
Visiting, culture and social bonding
The device in question will allow a 360-degree immersion in the two Parisian cultural venues. Residents of nursing homes, guided by the artists’ poetic sound recordings, will be able to visit the Palais Garnier and the Bastille Opera. Also in the program, a ballet broadcast entitled Le Parc and Notre Dame de Paris, taken in March and April 2021. Mediation procedures are also scheduled by opera performers in the nursing homes concerned.
“The Paris Opera should receive a wide audience in its halls, but it must also go, by whatever means, to meet everyone who is not able to attend,” explains Alexander Neff, the Foundation’s general manager.
Culture and social connection are essential for well-being and mental health. During the first birth period, there was no contact between the 720,000 elderly people and their family members. Thus, the culture will make it possible to fight isolation in nursing homes, against the risk of homosexuality in the elderly, and to work on their memories.