For the past month, Activities Director Jean Ann Moshier has been using It’s Never 2 Late (iN2L) in therapy sessions with individuals with dementia and in group activities with other older adults at the community to help bring back memories, improve communication skills, address problem behaviors and provide recreational activity.
The residents at Four Winds, a United Church Homes community in Jackson, Ohio, sing gospel hymns, listen to jokes, watch I Love Lucy and play The Price is Right and Family Feud.
“When they sing, they’re remembering when they were at home and going to church — same thing with the TV shows. There’s a lot of conversation about the old TV shows, a lot of reminiscing. It keeps their minds occupied. But it has a different effect on each person,” Jean Ann said.
iN2L, based in Centennial, Colorado, is a developer of digital engagement technology for senior living community residents. It provides computer software that includes interactive multimedia and cognitive-based games and adaptive devices that keep seniors active, connected and engaged. The comprehensive wellness touchscreen computer offers a custom-designed computer and content package that puts wellness programming into one system.
The technology includes hundreds of apps that help to meet residents’ spiritual, emotional, physical, social and intellectual needs. Residents can watch classic TV shows and movies, listen to music and participate in music therapy programs. They also can participate with interactive exercise videos that improve strength and balance, access virtual art museums and play games designed to improve brain functions such as memory, attention and language.
Four Winds is one of six United Church Homes communities that uses iN2L.
“We’re still learning the system, but what we’ve been able to do with it so far has been very successful,” Jean Ann said. “It’s helped us to address behaviors because the activities give residents something else to focus on.”
Patriot Ridge Community Activities Director Karen LeBlanc said residents at the community in Fairborn, Ohio, enjoy using iN2L for karaoke, trivia, audio books, music and classic TV shows.“It’s a great way to engage people either in group or one-on-one. We use it a lot. We take it to individual rooms for people who are not mobile. It just has so many things residents can do,” Karen said. “It provides mental stimulation or it can be used just for fun. You can travel to different places and our residents really love that.”
Renee Wilburn, memory care coordinator at Patriot Ridge, said the system helps bring back memories for residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“We do karaoke, play matching games, play Hangman, trivia and fill-in-the-blank games. There’s a section called Reminisce that shows old pictures and things that were made (when they were younger). It stimulates the mind, makes them open to talking and makes them happier,” Renee said.
Jack York, president and co-founder of iN2L, said it currently is used in more than 2,500 retirement communities throughout the United States and Canada. Jack and his brother founded the company in 1999 with the belief that there is a better way to treat people living with physical and cognitive conditions, especially those living in retirement communities.
“What matters is having technology that reaches people where they are. We want them to stay connected and engaged,” Jack said. “When older adults and people with dementia are exposed to music, spiritual content or whatever it is that is important to them, they just come to life. It’s fascinating to see how technology can be used to help older adults stay in touch with the world.”