By now, you’ve likely heard the term “virtual reality” (or VR for short), but if you haven’t experienced it yourself, it may be difficult to understand. Virtual reality incorporates the use of goggles, which display an image or video that appears to be real. Users can choose to move and look around, just like they were at the destination, enjoying the sights and sounds in a fully immersive 3D experience.
At Maplewood Senior Living, we use this technology across our communities and have seen great benefits for all our residents, especially those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. The Rendever platform was designed specifically for the senior population and invites them to recall familiar times by visiting virtual places or allows residents to experience new adventures.
Believe it or not, guilt is a very normal part of the caregiver journey. Whether you’ve been caring for your loved one for years, or just started making decisions as their health changed, guilt can happen. It’s not because you’re doing anything wrong, it’s simply a normal experience that we recognize and frequently see with our families at Maplewood Senior Living.
What you need to know about caregiver guilt is that it happens for a variety of reasons, and it’s ok to speak up when you are experiencing it. You may have siblings or a spouse that is critical of your choices, or doesn’t seem to want to help. Or, you may simply become overwhelmed and wish you could take a break or had less responsibility. No matter the cause, there are many healthy ways to overcome caregiver guilt. Continue reading “Why Caregivers May Experience Guilt & How to Overcome It”
Purposeful design simply means we design our spaces on purpose, with elements that feel warm while functioning as a stimulant for cognitive ability and independence. With the right cues and programming, we see residents engage in the experience of their choice, which leads to an improved quality of life.
Here are just a few ways we incorporate purposeful design at Maplewood Senior Living.
Preventing falls in seniors is very complex, and it’s a BIG problem. Every year, 2.8 million older adults in the U.S. end up in the emergency department with fall related injuries. One in four seniors who experience a hip fracture die within a year. ActiveProtective is one of many companies around the globe trying to solve this problem. Check out their airbag technology now being testing in senior living communities.
Innovation in aging tech, senior care and longevity science is happening across the globe, but it’s not always easy to find out what’s new and what’s next in the space. One of the best places to look is Aging2.0. This rapidly growing international community of aging innovators is on the cutting edge. Through its Leaders Circle, Alliance, Events, and Local Chapters, Aging2.0 is creating a global movement to improve the lives of older adults and transform the way we care for aging populations.
Aging2.0 is challenging big thinkers around the world to create solutions in these categories and the results of these “Grand Challenges” will be on display at the Optimize Conference in November 2018.
Maplewood Senior Living is proud to be an Aging2.0 Alliance member and is working to advance innovation in many of the Grand Challenges categories. More to come on that in future posts.
Here are some additional links to add to your resource list. Enjoy!
Virtual Reality (VR) technology has advanced significantly in recent years. If you haven’t experienced it yet, it’s definitely worth a go. When we discovered that a small startup out of MIT called Rendever created a VR platform for senior living communities, I had to check it out. Fast forward about four months and we’re now rolling out Rendever VR to all of our communities. Why? I’ll let the video speak for itself.
Maplewood Senior Living, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, and Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), will be hosting a dementia research and caregiving symposium on September 29th from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Holiday Inn, 6001 Rockside Road, Independence, Ohio. The event is specifically designed for both family members and caregivers and will feature renowned experts who will discuss the latest trends in Alzheimer’s and dementia care. In addition, the symposium will focus on managing caregiving responsibilities.
Jason Richardson, Ph.D., Director of Neurodegenerative Disease and Aging Research Focus Area, Acting Associate Dean for Research College of Pharmacy and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at NEOMED will be giving a keynote titled, “Industry Research and New Findings.”
I had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Richardson recently to get a sneak peek into his talk.
The Aging Innovation Matters Blog is published by the Maplewood Senior Living (MSL) Center for Aging Innovation & Technology.
What Aging Innovation Is, And Why It Matters
Innovation can take many forms. Doing essentially the same thing, but doing it better is a form of incremental innovation. Doing something totally different and getting even better results is a form of radical innovation. Creating something completely new, unexpected, revolutionary or transformative, is disruptive innovation. When it comes to human aging, all forms of innovation are necessary. Why? Because the global demographic shift toward an increasingly older population is accelerating. In 1900, 13% of the population was age 50 or over. In 2002, it was over 27%. By 2020, it will be over 35%, and in the next 35 years, the size of the 50-plus population will be more than double what it is today.
If that wasn’t enough, there is what Joseph F. Coughlin, Founder and Director of MIT’s Age Lab, calls the “Longevity Economy”. This vast market of older consumers is worth approximately $8 trillion in the U.S. and growing by the day. These older adults are sophisticated, vocal, and deserving of all that innovation has to offer. This blog, and this inaugural post, is inspired by these older adults.