Senior living communities continue to look for innovative ways to incorporate technology solutions in their communities — and one senior living company is experiencing success using five new tools for seniors.
Front Porch Communities and Services, which operates 12 retirement communities including five CCRCs, has been piloting these tools and has found that one of them reduces the need for anxiety medications by 30%, according to a recent Forbes article.
This tool, called Paro, is a $6,000 therapeutic robot seal that gives residents in the nursing and memory care sections of Front Porch’s Sunny View Retirement Community in Cupertino, Calif., a chance to care for it and socialize with each other, helping reduce bouts of anxiety and wandering.
“The effect was pretty immediate; they would pet the device and calm down,” says Davis Park, director of The Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing, in the Forbes article.
To help ensure that anxiety medications — and others — are taken, Front Porch communities also offer Lively, a home center monitoring program that allows caregivers and family members to keep track of the resident’s actions. Sensors attached to a pill box, a fridge or a key connect to a hub that relays information to the provider or family.
Another tech tool, called Dakim BrainFitness, is making residents at Front Porch’s communities more engaged. The online brain training program, disguised as computer games, exercises six cognitive domains: long-term memory, short-term memory, language, computation, visuospatial orientation and executive function.
Finally, Front Porch is using technology to better connect residents with each other and with family members through the use of social networking sites. Tapestry is a networking platform for seniors, which helps reconnect them with family and friends by exchanging photos and messages using iPads or iPhones.
Tapestry is rolling out another tool, called Stitch, which is also being piloted at Front Porch communities. This site allows new residents to connect with others living in the community — a “dating service for friendships,” the Forbes article says.
Using these five technologies, Sunny View and other Front Porch communities are hoping to help their residents live better.
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“These are market differentiators for retirement communities,” Park tells Forbes. “When potential residents and their families visit, they realize these are really safe places that are enhanced by the technology.”
To read the full Forbes article, click here.
Written by Emily Study