March 28

Assisted Living Residents Benefitting from Touch-Screen Technology

By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

There is something for everyone, Kim Mead said, before I sat down to test-drive the iN2L senior-friendly touch-screen technology that is being introduced to Gardant-managed assisted living and memory care communities in Illinois and Indiana.

In addition, Kim noted, the content is designed to create fun and meaningful experiences for residents and their families and friends. Much of the content reflects the seven dimensions of wellness – Physical, Emotional, Environmental, Vocational, Intellectual, Social and Spiritual Wellness.

Kim is Corporate Director of Resident Engagement for Gardant.

I was test-driving the technology using a 23-inch computer monitor designed by iN2L. A senior-friendly keyboard and a mouse come with the monitor.

Touch one icon to access opportunities to listen to music. Click another icon for physical fitness activities, including Sit & Be Fit exercises, Chair Dancing, and Tai Chi Qigong, and other icons for brain fitness activities and accessing television shows, movies, therapy, and travel videos. You can play trivia and card, board, casino, and matching games. You can do artwork and puzzles;  access inspirational videos and ways to meditate; travel virtually; and access the Internet. By touching the Spirituality icon, you’ll find content about various religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism. There is even a flight simulator that enables someone to virtually fly an airplane or helicopter.

There truly does seem the be something for everyone.

Residents can sign-up to use the 23-inch computer monitor individually or the monitor can be hooked up to a large screen in a community room for group activities. In addition, an iN2L tablet also is available for resident use.

We are able to set up individual resident profiles on the big screen or tablet so residents can save their favorite games, movies and websites to their own profile, Mead said.  They can also send and receive email with their family and friends through their own password protected profile as well as Skype or video call with their family, using either the big screen or tablet.

iN2L supports purposeful engagement and social connectivity. It leverages technology to help minimize loneliness and isolation. It helps fulfill Gardant’s mission of enriching the lives of residents and our goal of helping each resident to achieve and maintain as much independence as possible for as long as possible.

As a resident of one of the Gardant-managed communities noted, she enjoys the exercise videos. They are fun, exciting, and I am getting a great workout. I feel like I have already become stronger just in the few weeks I have been using them.

It is highly unlikely that residents will be bored with seeing the “same” stuff.  iN2L adds 5,000 new pieces of content to the big computer unit each month and they add 1,100 new pieces of content to the tablet each month.

Here is a sampling of what Resident Service Coordinators at Gardant-managed assisted living and memory care communities have to say about the initial experience of having the iN2L technology in their community:

Heritage Woods of Chicago

My residents enjoy listening to the music of their time during their Coffee Social. They enjoy the Price Is Right, Tic Tac Toe and Family Feud where they compete against each other (They are very competitive). They also enjoy the Word games, Trivia and Matching games. Their favorite is “How much did that cost in their time”.

Oasis at 56th

Our community has done primarily 1 on 1 with iN2L. There are a handful of residents that love to come in and do therapy sessions on the bike and also religious devotions. My residents use it on Saturdays for BINGO on their own. We listen to music during happy hour and have also done some meditation exercises!

Heritage Woods of Yorkville

I have a residents who enjoy playing solitaire, the casino blackjack, driving the car, flying the plane, and the brain function activities.

Heritage Woods of Batavia

“Come on down for the Price is Right”. Residents at Heritage Woods of Batavia loved playing Price is Right; it was almost like being a part of a live show. I have had several come in for relaxation or stress relief and bubble popping, and videos especially the baby videos. It has relieved anxiety for many residents and brought many smiles and laughter.

Heritage Woods of Rockford

“The games are his favorite; it keeps his mind busy and is good exercise for the brain.

Grand Prairie of Macomb

Here at Grand Prairie we have used the iN2L so far for Arm Chair Travelers (we went to Austria today), and for brain teasers, which the residents got a huge kick out of. I have used it for Bingo; it is very useful and loud enough for everyone to hear! We have played games (Family Feud, Millionaire, and the Price is Right). I have one resident that comes in almost daily by herself to play Millionaire and Majong. I have a couple other residents that come in about once a week to play games together. It is a very useful program and there is so much more for us to explore. I am going to start using it for Worship Services. I also use the iPad for family face-to-face calls and it works very well!

I also plan to use the exercise videos soon! The residents love that it’s touch screen.

Lacey Creek in Downers Grove

We have used iN2L for several things so far, but the most popular was definitely exploring Google Earth on it. Residents were giving me addresses of their previous homes, homes where their families live, places they worked, etc.

We have a resident, David, who is from Dixon IL, which is also where Ronald Regan spent some of his childhood. David gave us the address of Reagan’s childhood home and talked about how it had become run down over the years and he helped do fundraising and restoration work on the house and the carriage house. They turned the lot next to it into a small park. He also showed us a statue of Reagan that’s on a river walk area in Dixon. It was super interesting!

Heritage Woods of Moline

While doing our St Patty’s Day craft, I played Irish Karaoke and the entire room of 18 residents sang along and had a ball!  I am also going to inform our resident who needs a piano player for his Worship service on Sundays that he could use the religious hymns that are pre-loaded on the machine.  I have many activities that include this machine on April’s calendar! 

John Evans Supportive Living in Peoria

Here at John Evans we had a resident do a travel log to Greece as that is her heritage. She very much enjoyed being the leader of the class with just the click of a mouse. Some of our men have enjoyed singing karaoke and having little afternoon gambling sessions. When the group gets together their favorite game is Family Feud! The ease of the touch screen and the pictures make it easy so they don’t have to worry about looking for things by searching the web. although that option is available. I also had a Navy vet practice his flying skills. He did say he was sad to not be able to fire missiles.

Heritage Woods of DeKalb

One of the ways our resident’s use the iN2L is during the weekend when I’m not here to play uno and dominoes. They will turn on the jukebox and will pick a genre of music to listen to while they play. We will use it for exercise, armchair travel to different countries, decade trivia and word search.


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