Technology for Seniors… It’s Never 2 Late
February 03, 2019
By Angela Barnett, MSN, RN, Training and Development Coordinator for Bedford Care Centers
Technology has taken our world by storm over the past 20 years. While technology can be overwhelming to the elderly at times, the residents at Bedford Care Centers recently got a taste of the beauty of technology. A company out of Denver, Colorado is helping connect residents living in Skilled Nursing Facilities with the outside world in many different ways. It’s Never 2 Late, or iN2L, is changing the way residents conduct therapy sessions and just live life in general. Through their innovative Engage system, residents and staff are able to incorporate activities, music, TV shows, and commercials along with many other applications into daily living and therapy. Using these applications, a sometimes unwilling participant learns to enjoy, and even look forward to, therapy and other activities.
Each resident has a button on the screen called a “My Page.” Within this button are activities the resident enjoys. The resident is able to customize their My Page with the content they want to see or perform. The My Page buttons are unique to the individual resident and have their photo displayed on the button. This gives the residents the freedom to perform these tasks on their own without the assistance of staff. The Engage system is completely mobile and can be used in common areas but can also be wheeled into resident rooms.
Residents are able to visit other countries and states through slide shows and even sample cuisine from that area prepared in our Dietary Services departments. Games and puzzles help with cognitive function, while engaging the resident in a person-centered experience.
Senior-appropriate exercise programs are available for staff use in helping keep the residents moving and healthy. Endless trivia is present for the trivia buffs within our populations. Short stories and novels are accessible and are read aloud for the literature lovers. Spiritual resources, for all faith groups, are obtainable for easy-to-lead worship services. Slideshows exist that have various animals and babies, which the residents always enjoy viewing.
It is important that our residents are able to unite with their families near and far. With iN2L, family members from anywhere in the world can upload pictures and videos of important events. Our residents are then able to share these with others. They are able to feel like they are not missing out on these memories because they are at their fingertips with a push of a button. Not only can families send pictures and videos, but residents can also Skype with family members who may live too far to visit often. With the Skype technology, residents can see their loved ones or friends, as well as talk to them.
The residents, staff, and family members have the opportunity to complete the “My Story” application. Within this application, residents are able to tell who they are, what their accomplishments were, how they wish to be cared for, and what they want people to remember about them. The information is then stored and displayed in a book format available to view on the Engage system. What an awesome opportunity for someone who is losing the capability to inform others about their life, choices, and decisions!
According to iN2L, other communities have seen a 65 percent increase in resident overall mood improvement, which leads to a reduction in psychotropic medication usage. Resident participation in activities increased by 78 percent, and relations with family members improved as well. Fall risks are decreased by improved motor skill gained through all applications. No matter the cognitive level of the resident, there is something that can be improved to enhance their lives.
Increasing resident satisfaction and happiness is always at the forefront in skilled nursing. Ensuring quality of life throughout the end of life is an essential element of importance for all seniors. Bedford Care Centers are committed to our residents. We strive daily to maintain or enhance their lives as much as possible. Continuing to search for out-of-the-box ideas is what demonstrates our continued dedication to this ideal.
For more information visit www.BedfordCareCenters.com.
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