Jewish Senior Life is a leader in innovation, and technology is one way we push the status quo to enrich the lives of those we serve, helping them stay connected and engaged. While older adults may not be digital natives, things like smart speakers and computer programs can help them cope and adapt to cognitive and physical challenges.
Here are two ways Jewish Senior Life uses technology as a tool for entertainment, education and building social connections:
Smart Speakers—Google HomeTM is a voice-activated “smart speaker” available to our transitional care (short-term rehabilitation) patients since January 2018. Users speak commands to interact with Google to get information such as the weather forecast, history and current events—as well as listen to music. Former patient John Nodar really enjoyed using Google Home during his stay. “I’m an avid history buff,” John says, “however having recently become legally blind, I’m no longer able to enjoy reading about history. But using Google Home at Jewish Senior Life allowed me to stay connected and enjoy my hobby during my stay.”
Computer Programs— It’s Never 2 Late® (iN2L) system is an adaptive computer that has been in use for several years at Jewish Senior Life, helping residents stay connected to their families, hobbies and interests. The system’s picture-based, touch-screen interface allows users to “touch” their way to find all kinds of engaging content for a variety of interests and uses, and it can be personalized for each resident. From using email and web cams to connect with family and friends, to stimulating their minds with games and puzzles, to using a rehabilitation program for improving hand-eye coordination, residents with a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities are now enjoying technology using systems adapted especially for them. And many of them have never used a computer before! “I enjoy using it to travel back in time and learn about events from past decades,” says Beatrice Sadinsky, Jewish Home resident.
These technologies, in addition to using iPads and Skype, help keep older adults connected and entertained, while fostering relationships between staff and residents, who enjoy using them together.