These days, technology is commonplace and completely ingrained into our daily routines. Need to know how to get somewhere? Pull up Google Maps and you’re off. Having a quiet night in and want to watch a favorite movie? Netflix, you and popcorn are the perfect combination. Technology makes our homes smarter, our cars safer and our lives easier. In the senior living space, technology is becoming more and more the norm as its benefits to Memory Care residents continue to grow. “There are hundreds of technology products and applications that have been used to help improve the lives of individuals with memory issues,” says Robin Crum, Executive Director of YourLife™ of Pensacola, a Memory Care community in Pensacola, FL. “Some of these technologies are simple adaptations of products that are already out there, like automated lighting systems to help guide residents, or Fitbits to monitor health levels and locations.”
The Benefits of Digital Technology for Caregivers
Caring for an individual with memory impairment is a complex challenge, as it requires juggling multiple responsibilities, along with finding ways to interact meaningfully. Digital tools can help caregivers streamline and simplify their tasks, and also provide connections to resources and care assistance. In a Memory Care community like YourLife™ of Pensacola, digital tools enable caregivers to keep accurate, up-to-date records for every resident so the quality of care remains consistent across the board. Technology also allows staff to interact with residents in new and meaningful ways, like encouraging storytelling, helping create a digital photo album of their lives and playing games together.
The Benefits of Digital Technology for Seniors with Dementia
Digital technology provides a variety of benefits for individuals with dementia, including:
- Improving health and wellness. There is a variety of digital content that helps seniors keep their minds and bodies active. Exercise videos, therapy videos and others allow seniors to access support whenever they want it – night or day.
- Promoting independence. Accomplishing tasks on their own such as accessing favorite programs helps improve seniors’ self-esteem. Technology – such as phone apps that send reminders to take medicines – can also help seniors be more independent.
- Maintaining personal connections. Skype and email are excellent tools for helping seniors stay connected to friends and family, whether they’re in the same town or across the globe.
- Keeping the mind active. Technology provides access to activities that improve cognitive stimulation, such as games and puzzles that test memory, reflexes and other skills.
In addition to technologies that have been adapted for use in Memory Care, there are technologies that have been specifically designed to meet the needs of dementia care residents, like the computer system It’s Never 2 Late™ (iN2L). “iN2L has enhanced our residents’ daily lives in countless ways,” says Crum. “We’ve seen firsthand how the specialized programming can help residents make connections, improve their independence and promote mental and physical health. These digital tools also help residents share their stories and interests, which helps our care team interact with them in meaningful ways.”
How iN2L Works
iN2L’s tagline is “Dignity Through Technology,” which it achieves by providing a digital tool that allows anyone – regardless of their level of tech knowledge – to interact simply, easily and enjoyably with the computer. The system is built on a touch-screen, picture-based interface that allows individuals to easily navigate to the content that interests them. What makes iN2L different from other computer programs is that it was designed by dementia care experts specifically to reach a broad range of interests and levels. Its goal is to provide desired outcomes for individuals or groups, and can help whether a goal is to refocus, entertain, stimulate or comfort. For caregivers and staff, iN2L helps increase productivity and effectiveness by encouraging independence in residents and allowing them to self-direct and engage. Other key features and benefits of the system include:
- Family connection through easy access to Skype, email and life storytelling tools.
- Health & Wellness programs for all aspects of life: spiritual, intellectual, physical, social and emotional.
- Therapy Content to improve occupational, physical or speech outcomes.
- Games & Puzzles that provide hours of interactive and challenging entertainment.
- Spirituality for all faiths through sing along hymns, sermons, devotionals, studies, Bible stories and more.
- Music Therapy with customized music experience to enhance any environment.
- TV & Film specifically designed around the ‘50s and ‘60s so residents can watch old favorites anytime they want.
- Sports, including both current and historic events.
- Travel by providing tours around the world that let residents experience faraway countries without ever leaving the community.
- Lifelong Learning available through audio books, Ted Talks, college lectures and much more.
- History & Nostalgia by providing ways to explore the past, both historic and personal.
- Physical Fitness and Fall Prevention through videos that promote strengthening and maintenance exercises.
“We’re very pleased with the results we’ve had from implementing iN2L technology in our community,” says Crum. “We’ve seen engagement and happiness increase, both for residents and staff. The simple format allows residents to interact in ways that just weren’t possible before. But most of all, we’re all having fun together. Our residents are gaining self-confidence and fulfillment, and we’re able to care for their emotional, physical and cognitive needs in the process.” If you would like to learn more about YourLife™ of Pensacola or the It’s Never 2 Late™ programming we provide to residents with memory loss, contact us today!
The Memory Care Your Loved One Deserves.
Offering the very best in Memory Care, YourLife™ of Pensacola was designed specifically with residents in mind. We’ve created a community where residents can define their own lifestyle, based on their preferences, needs and story, all while having the peace of mind of 24-hour support and the freedom to define their own lifestyles. Because we focus solely on Memory Care, all of our resources and attention are on catering to each resident’s needs while providing unequaled peace of mind for families. Our licensed nurses and YourLife™ Personal Care Specialists are on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide personally inspired care and support, no matter what your needs. With such dedicated care, our residents have the support they need to live as independently and engaged as possible. At YourLife™ of Pensacola, YourStory comes to life. Whether you want to enjoy our exclusive activities and YourStory programming, spend time exploring our services and amenities, relax in our easy-to-navigate Memory Care neighborhoods and living areas or try something new, the choice is entirely up to you. Contact us to learn more!