Oppidan is the First Developer to Offer WellnessVR, a Virtual Reality Experience for its Pillars Senior Communities

MINNEAPOLIS, MNOppidan Investment Company, a national property development firm headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, has partnered with Minnesota-based Visual to bring the latest virtual reality technology to more than 400 older adults living in independent living, assisted living and memory care in four of its Minnesota senior living communities: The Pillars of Highland Park in Saint Paul, The Pillars of Mankato in Mankato, The Pillars of Shorewood Landing in Shorewood and The Pillars of White Bear Lake in White Bear Lake.

Additionally, Oppidan will continue to add WellnessVR into all of its future senior living communities, thereby increasing the number of seniors who have access to this wellness program.

WellnessVR, the virtual reality platform from Visual, is specifically designed to reduce stress and promote wellbeing. In a study conducted among older adults living in a senior living community, seniors reported the following after experiencing WellnessVR twice a week for four weeks:

  • 96 percent felt happier
  • 97 percent felt more relaxed
  • 98 percent felt more positive
  • 94 percent felt less worried
  • All respondents reported that they enjoyed their WellnessVR experience.

“We are always looking ahead to find ways to enhance the lives of the residents in our senior communities. Adding WellnessVR programming for all residents in our independent living, assisted living and memory care will do just that,” said Blake Hastings, Oppidan President. “Together with Visual, we are disrupting the industry to give our seniors the most advanced lifestyle with access to cutting edge technologies.”

This is part of Oppidan’s historical commitment to investing in projects that truly enhance the senior living communities it builds and owns. In 2016, Oppidan created the Pillars Fund to enhance memory care programming at its senior living communities and has pledged $500,000 to-date. The Pillars Fund has provided more than 50 different programs including music, art, writing, storytelling and other therapies designed to stimulate, relate and engage residents living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Oppidan also partnered with Gentle Transitions, a Minnesota-based relocation company to pay for seniors’ relocation services when they move into an Oppidan senior living community.

“At Oppidan, we don’t just stop at the bricks and mortar,” said Joe Ryan, Oppidan Chief Executive Officer. “When a senior chooses one of our beautiful communities, we are fully committed to making sure they thrive.”

Residents can choose from a variety of 360-degree experiences from the robust WellnessVR content library. This includes rich scenes to spur reminiscing among seniors, including summers at the lake after experiencing a peaceful water scene from Lake Superior or the ability to check items off their “bucket list” after virtually traveling across the globe.

Through unique partnerships with the Minnesota Opera, Minnesota Museum of American Art and Minnesota Public Radio, WellnessVR immerses older adults into arts and culture, giving them experiences they couldn’t receive anywhere else, like joining performers on stage during a Minnesota Opera performance.

“WellnessVR is a proven solution that offers seniors a mindful reset. It’s calming, easy to use and research shows WellnessVR enhances psychological wellbeing,” said Chuck Olsen, Visual CEO and Co-Founder. “Plus, it’s an added bonus that these seniors will benefit from technology that will make their grandkids jealous.”

Shorewood Landing, White Bear Heights and Highlands of St. Paul are managed by Ebenezer Management Services, the largest residential management company in Minnesota that specializes in senior housing. In addition to these developments, Oppidan also developed The Pillars of Mankato, the newest senior living community in Mankato. Oppidan is currently developing The Pillars of Prospect Park in Minneapolis and The Watermark of Napa Valley in California, both of which are expected to open in Spring 2020.

Since 1991, Oppidan Investment Company has been a leader in philanthropic support within the communities it invests. Oppidan provides development, construction and project management, asset management, and brokerage services to the retail, senior housing, industrial, commercial, residential and mixed-use markets. The team’s 450 projects span 15.8 million-square feet in 35 states and Canada with a total value of more than $3.0 billion.

Minnesota-based Visual has been creating virtual reality for a better reality since 2014. Visual has created VR experiences for Fortune 500 companies, sports teams, healthcare organizations and arts and entertainment groups. More information about its WellnessVR B2B virtual reality platform, 360-degree video platform and VR/AR games and apps can be found on its website.

Ebenezer Management Services is Minnesota’s largest residential management company in Minnesota that specializes in senior housing. Part of Fairview Health System, Ebenezer Management Services develops, consults and provides management services to more than 93 senior communities throughout Minnesota and Iowa.