Technology in Care – Branford
Using technology to improve stimulation and engagement.
At Artis Senior Living, we care for residents with various types of dementia in various stages of progression. Dementia can often be overwhelming and frightening for not only those suffering from the disease, but also for their loved ones.
While the years passing have not yet brought a cure, they have brought several new technological advances that can improve quality of life for those with dementia and provide some extra peace of mind for their loved ones.
Studies show that continued engagement and stimulation to brain function can make a significant difference in slowing cognitive decline. At Artis, we’ve employed various technologies to promote comfort, independence, motor skills and memory skills for our residents in a safe and monitored environment.
Some of the technologies we use at Artis Senior Living are:
MindFit Software by Vigorous Mind Inc.
Vigorous Mind was developed by Psychologist Dr. Schlomo Bresnitz to assess users over the course of three sessions and then develop a customized program to exercise various skills in the user’s brain. Some of those skills include short-term memory, time estimation and dividing attention. The use of this technology allows us to create a customized Memory Care program for each of our resident’s unique needs, using visual and aural cues that are pleasant to our residents and truly stimulate their brain.
Obie for Seniors
The Obie interactive system includes a projector, sensors, and a variety of games designed specifically for the senior population. Since we’ve been using Obie, it’s not only helped improve the amount of Memory Care enrichment our residents partake in, but it allows us to do so in a safe way since the program is projected onto virtual surfaces that we’re able to easily clean and sanitize.
Obie has been a difference-maker in both the cognitive and motor skills of those using the program. While some residents with dementia may not respond to a verbal cue from a care partner, with Obie they see lights, colors and movement and are often naturally inspired to move along with them. Based on Obie’s findings, seniors using Obie show a 97% increase in motoric ability, an 88% increase in cognitive ability and an 84% increase in social behavior.
When a person experiencing dementia sees a photo of themselves or their loved ones, it can often spark conversation about a memory or feeling attached to the image, and what took place. This visual trigger helps residents remember people and recall relational information and important life events.
Sherish helps families curate these memorable photos into albums that residents can access themselves or with assistance from care partners, allowing them to watch a slideshow of photos shared by their family and friends. The photo albums also have capabilities to add text or voice messages, adding another layer of personal connection. The Sherish system is an excellent aid for visiting families, and a great way to keep residents connected to their loved ones when they can’t be there in person.
Virtual reality is yet another technology used in our Memory Care program to help our residents restore or reengage with memories they may not have been in touch with recently. Virtual reality provides the opportunity for residents to take a trip, play a game, attend a concert, or go for a ride in the comfort and safety of our community. Through our partnership profile, we can find things that our residents like and incorporate them into their virtual experience. The use of virtual reality provides a richer and more satisfying quality of life than would otherwise be available to these residents.
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