The use of technology has grown tremendously among the senior population in recent years. More and more seniors are using smart phones, tablets and computers to stay informed, connect with others and even shop.
According to widely known Eden Alternative, common concerns amongst our elder population have been that they become bored, lonely and have a general feeling of helplessness. Advances in technology have provided many avenues to combat these issues have proven to be a true blessing for many senior community residents.
Maplewood Senior Living prides itself in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. We recently sat down with Brian Geyser, Chief Clinical Officer, for Maplewood Senior Living. Brian leads our resident care programs, population health and technology initiatives.
Here, Brian answers some questions about how technology is used at Maplewood Senior Living.
Q: How does Maplewood Senior Living use technology to improve the lives of residents?
A: Our entire suite of tech products are specifically designed to make our residents lives more enjoyable. Residents have easy access to information, entertainment, care and opportunities to engage through the use of technology.
Q: What types of technology are included in this “suite of products”?
A: Our products include everything from virtual reality to hearing amplification products to high-tech fall risk sensors to educational tools. With this combination, we’ve achieved our purpose: to keep our residents safe, healthy and happy.
Q: Where will residents interact with technology?
A: The simple answer is: everywhere. Residents utilize technology to call for assistance throughout the community. Residents with hearing impairments are able to use noise-canceling headsets to improve programming experiences and social experiences. Virtual reality is used within the program schedule to treat our residents to excursions around the globe, to give them the opportunities to “interact” with animals, and to see and learn new things. New technology is always being added. We never stop searching for new ways to engage and assist our residents, and in this day and age, the possibilities are endless.
Q: How do your technology efforts keep the residents socially active?
A: Social engagement is one of the elements that forms the foundation of our life enrichment and wellness programs, and it’s critical for the overall health and happiness of our residents. That includes our VR Global Travel program and our virtual reality experiences, which will allow our residents travel the world (virtually) without ever leaving home. And our digital interactive programming and live stream learning programs support engagement with a variety of interactive shows and activities.
Q: How is technology assisting with the health and care of the residents?
A: Health and wellness are top priorities at Maplewood Senior Living. Many of the technology products we use help with both. Our resident safety system features nurse call and real-time location. Our fall detection system alerts nursing staff immediately of movement and signals a light to illuminate to improve visibility within the residents apartment.
Another important component is the electronic health and medication record, which gives us real-time visibility into a resident’s health status. That helps our team make data-driven clinical decisions and plan care proactively. It also enables us to create a truly individualized service plan for each resident—taking medical, social, personal, spiritual, cognitive, and lifestyle elements into account.
Q: What, in your opinion, is the biggest benefit of using technology?
A: Connectedness. Our ultimate goal is to enhance each resident’s connection to information, to culture, to experiences, and to each other. It’s an exciting time to live in a senior living community, and I believe Maplewood Senior Living is leading the way.
Q: Last question, what’s next?
A: iN2L, or ‘it’s never 2 late’. Designed specifically to help older adults realize the full benefits of today’s technology. The system is built on a picture-based, touch-screen interface that allows users to simply “touch” their way to find engaging, educational, spiritual and personalized content that is appropriate to their own level of ability. Maplewood Senior Living is glad to announce this rollout across their communities in summer 2019.
It’s Never 2 Late (iN2L)
As iN2L is our latest addition to the Maplewood Senior Living tech suite, we wanted to share a few of the highlights of this new platform. The basis is an oversized, touchscreen TV. Extremely user-friendly for residents and staff use and incorporate in day-to-day activity.
Stimulating, cognitive engagement:
Brain exercises, educational and travel videos, interactive games, TV games, gambling, card and board puzzles, word games, history, news topics and trivia. Specific programming for those that sundown promises to bring peace and calm to residents in their time of need. News programs incorporate ‘feel good’ news that is uplifting and brings joy to the residents. Dear Abby articles typically cause engaging conversation amongst residents – whether they agree with her opinion, or not!
Videos, hymns, sermons, devotionals, relaxation, therapeutic music and scenery across diverse faith groups. Many religious options are available to meet a variety of spiritual backgrounds. New content is loaded regularly, as well, to keep the content engaging and fresh.
Arts & Entertainment:
Art programs include painting and drawing. Novels are loaded in the system to offer the residents the option of holding book clubs. Classic titles such as, Little Women, Peter Pan and Wizard of Oz are included. Sports fans have enjoyed watching live sporting events, like the College World Series and Wimbledon on the ESPN app that is loaded on the system.
Bike simulator, flight simulator, Tai Chi, aerobics and therapeutic activities for Occupational, Physical and Speech therapy. “Virtual” exercise options allow us to expand the fitness opportunities for our residents.
The Fun Stuff:
Juke Box music options for theme parties, karaoke of many classics, sing-a-long videos are some of the entertaining, crowd participation type activities that can be initiated by this system. Music therapists have also worked to develop programming that provides a build-up of energy for a party setting, then as the party comes to a close the music moves to more calming tunes, to wind down the attendees. Residents can even read classic comic strips and reminisce together.
As you can see, Maplewood Senior Living, places high priority on creating an active, engaged lifestyle for our residents. Technology products like iN2L and others are definitely bringing a new adventures and opportunities to our residents. If you’re interested in seeing what our communities have to offer for yourself, please feel free to contact us and schedule a tour.