Huntsville Memory Care: Using Technology to Enhance Life for Seniors
Our Huntsville community has been a testing ground for an exciting new technology system that is being employed company-wide for Memory Care residents. The iN2L system (iN2L stands for “It’s Never Too Late”) has been highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and other media outlets.
“It’s a portable system, and we can wheel it anywhere that a wheelchair can go,” said Monique Dykstra. “The screen and speaker system are built right in. Residents have used it to email their families, send and receive photos, it can even be used for games like BINGO. One resident has taken great joy in emailing regularly with her son in California. It is a new piece of technology that is rare among senior living communities in this area.”
How iN2L Works
A picture-based, touch-screen interface allows users to simply ‘touch’ their way to find engaging, educational, spiritual and personalized content that is appropriate to their own level of ability.
You don’t have to do a lot of research to conclude that seniors and technology are not always natural allies. Many rely on their grandchildren to answer questions about computers or help them set up new gadgets. With iN2L, emailing, sharing photos and many more tasks are done with minimal frustration. It was designed especially with seniors in mind.
This “engagement system” packages an easy-to-use touchscreen kiosk. Individually and in groups, residents can connect with friends and family, pursue personal interests, stimulate the senses and have fun. Family can add personalized content remotely and partner with our staff to download dad’s favorite type of music, mom’s favorite ministers, Skype with family across the country, etc.
The Therapeutic Applications of iN2L Technology
It’s all about generating a high level of potential enjoyment and activity for our residents. For Memory Care residents, in particular, the benefits of having a massive library of music, games, and puzzles at our fingertips are numerous.
“It’s Never 2 Late” stimulates the neurological pathways of our Memory Care residents. We are able to use it for Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. Residents can benefit from safety awareness, problem-solving and memory applications. Programs and games designed for residents with dementia can reduce anxiety, engage to refocus, entertain to redirect or stimulate reminiscing conversations. Content is designed by experts in the field of dementia care to reach a range of function levels and interests, and Regency is training our staff by incorporating modules from Teepa Snow, an internationally known trainer and speaker from Alabama, regarding Alzheimer’s care.
Bridging the Limitations of Time and Space
In our busy modern society, it’s challenging to get everything done even before factoring in an aging parent who lives elsewhere and needs frequent visits to feel loved and appreciated. At the same time, seniors understand this and do not want to be a burden. While it cannot compare to a face-to-face visit with the grandkids, a Skype session, shared photos and emails to share what’s happening are the next best thing. We still encourage families to visit their loved one in person as much as they want, but iN2L opens a new avenue for more frequent interaction.
In much the same way, this new system is not a replacement for compassionate care by human caregivers but, rather, a great new tool for extending what we can do to enrich the lives of our residents and their families.
Learn More About this Exciting New System
We hope that families will participate in helping us use this system to its full potential. If you have any questions about it, please let us know. There will be opportunities in December, including our Christmas Open House, to speak with our staff while enjoying in fellowship.
As always, you can stay connected with us on the Internet through our Facebook Page.