The type of new content preferred by senior citizens and care takers was dominantly nostalgic content and content on places that are hard to reach for this audience. Seniors would love to experience how it all was before and simultaneously see the differences in their neighborhoods and living areas. Suggestions for video content from care takers varied but did also overlap with the needs the elderly proposed. They would prefer to have content that reminds them of the past, such as filming Prinsjesdag . Another big theme was things the elderly simply cannot do anymore, because of immobility or old age, such as ice-skating and going to famous Dutch attractions such as the Keukenhof . “Senior citizens are interested what happens outside of The Hague, since they cannot get there anymore.” One strongly reacquiring topic for EldersVR home was “Begeleiden en Rijden”, or BER for short. A local initiative run by volunteers that pick up senior citizens for appointments at for example the hair dresser, hospital appointment, or for doing groceries. Finally, music was a popular topic as well. Visiting a concert is often not accessible to fragile senior citizens. Studies on VR and the elderly have suggested the use of natural scenery, such parks and gardens, since environments of nature provided in VR have found to reduce stress and improve cognitive functions. The length and format of the VR experiences are preferred to be between 5 and 8 minutes, with better visual and audio quality. Using VR extensively with the elderly was found to create feelings of discomfort and result in a decrease in willingness to participate with the elderly. Thus, VR platforms should be provided within a safe environment, starting with shorter sessions, preferably in groups. The length of the videos of the EldersVR platform were experi- enced as being too short at 3.15 minutes. A video of 5 to 8 minutes was preferred overall. Moreover, the text on the loading screen was of proper length and often readable but could benefit by an increase in font size.
Finally, the results also point out that it is preferred to have a clear dialogue with a real person. Lonely seniors were more socially responsive to a virtual environment with a social embodied agent involved, which suggests that having contact with even a virtual person can have an impact on the sense of loneliness. Seniors responded very positively to the host in the Kurhaus video, even greeting him and waving back. The elderly also indicated that they appreciated guidance and context in the EldersVR content, preferably by a guide. Loneliness could also be caused due to shy- ness, where virtual reality is considered as being an easier path to get in touch with others. Providing a real person in VR can therefor be beneficial.
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