A Day in the Life With iN2L: How Technology Enhances Life Enrichment

Senior living caregiver with resident

October 4, 2021

India Brown, MA, Program Partnerships Manager, iN2L

After receiving CMP funding, Vivage started using iN2L to provide high-quality, consistent engagement to residents.

 

Vivage, a senior living provider with communities in Colorado and Missouri, offers compassionate care that puts residents first. Its highly trained, caring team members build personalized care and wellness plans so that residents can live every day to the fullest.

 

I recently worked with Vivage to obtain funding for tools and resources that connect residents to whom and what they love while also supporting an all-hands-on-deck approach to resident engagement. Vivage communities was granted Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Civil and Monetary Penalty (CMP) funding from these two categories:

  • CMP Communicative Technology Request: Funding to purchase devices, such as tablets, that support virtual visits
  • CMP Reinvestment Project: Funding for projects designed to directly improve care processes for nursing home residents of multiple nursing homes

 

Through these funding opportunities, Vivage communities are now using tablets and group engagement systems from iN2L.

 

How Technology Enhances Live Enrichment at Vivage

During the CMP funding process, I had the opportunity to get to know Olivia Mogab, a Quality Improvement Specialist at Vivage. We recently had a conversation about how the interdisciplinary teams (IDTs) at Vivage are using iN2L tablets and group engagement systems to provide a meaningful and consistent resident experience. This is what she had to say.

 

What’s been your experience using iN2L technology at Vivage? How does it make activity planning easier?

Let me tell you, I love iN2L. I love it. I can’t say enough good things about iN2L.

Typically, activity professionals and recreation professionals scour the Internet looking for programming resources. With iN2L, you have more than 1,000 content items on the tablets and nearly 5,000 on the larger systems—so the time it takes you to search for activities really decreases.

 

How do you use iN2L to start the day?

So, at 7 a.m., we start off with a daily meditation on the tablet. The tablet has different meditations that you can access under the Relax button. You can actually start off with relaxing music and it will continue playing and then you start the meditation. Fabulous.

Next, we go into Music at 8:30 a.m. This works well with a resident population that does not get distracted with music in the background. For individuals living with progressive dementia, we try to decrease that stimulation when we’re dining because it can get distracting. But if it doesn’t bother them, then we start music with breakfast. And it’s wonderful.

 

Sample schedule showing how staff at Vivage use iN2L on a typical day.

 

What’s your strategy for incorporating exercise into the day?

We always exercise two times a day. It kind of opens us up in the morning, and it helps get us out of that afternoon lull. And we always invite care partners to exercise. This is a really nice idea if you’re working in a skilled nursing community. For example, you can really encourage restorative staff to come and do group exercises with you. This allows you to engage the Restorative Team, and it also can teach them new exercises. They can teach new exercises, but they could also, depending on the ratios, capture their restorative participants and document that the exercises performed were restorative. So iN2L is really an educational platform not only for residents and elders, but also for care partners.

 

How do you get residents to interact and engage while doing these leisure activities?

I ask questions like, “Has anybody ever traveled to Maine? What was it like?” Then we use the Travel button on the iN2L system to look up Maine and see the content available about that location.

A really nice thing to add to the travel programming is food. I remember one time at another community, we did a Travel Experience to Jamaica. So, we made virgin piña coladas. And we had a blast. And you wouldn’t believe the reminiscence stories that people had after you say “rum.” It’s just amazing. People have lives to share. They have stories to tell. And these content items—these triggers and these opportunities for engagement that iN2L gives you—open up that world of engagement. It takes a lot of pressure off the recreation team members.

 

iN2L offers numerous categories of activities to keep seniors engaged.

 

Some communities are challenged to provide meaningful activities and programming in the evening. Can you describe how you use iN2L during and after dinner?

You can always add music to dinner if you want. I know in some platforms when I’ve worked in mental health, we’ve done trivia during dinner, like bar room trivia. We can watch the Classic TV. I think Bonanza, that’s one of my grandfather’s favorites. So, he would really support that. And at 7:30 p.m., we have time-lapse videos we can watch, like blooming flowers. And then at eight o’clock, we have the therapeutic music with a nature melody playing for one hour.

 

What are some other things you do to get the interdisciplinary team involved?

You know, if your administrator or executive director loves cycling, you can start out by doing something like the bike tours on one of iN2L’s group engagement systems. Then, if you can find out if your team members and care partners are known for a hobby or interests—or if you know more about them than just their jobs—you can connect them with a tablet and show them how they can be day makers and changers in the community.

With the tablet, by helping staff build their own profiles, you’re connecting them to the community—same thing with residents. If you know something about them personally beyond their role of being, for example, a CNA, a nutritionist, or life enrichment professional, they’re going to be more apt to support and try this new system. Connect them through something that they themselves enjoy—that would be my biggest recommendation to everybody. You’re going to have a lot more participation if people like what they’re seeing, if you know them personally, and can connect and engage with them on a personalized level.

 

What advice would you like to share with other communities that want to emphasize an interdisciplinary approach to engagement?

We encourage team members to spend time using the systems. Playing with the tablet 15-30 minutes or an hour throughout the week or on your breaks—it’s amazing what kind of break that gives you and what the power of play does for you, not just residents. And that’s what we are emphasizing this year, the power of play.

I always tell people, not everyone is made to lead an activity, but these are tools that we ask caregivers to play with to educate themselves. They can pick something they’re interested in and share that with a group. And that makes facilitating a group a lot easier. That’s where you get IDT involved. If you have a team that’s very focused on the spiritual well-being of the community, have them play around with the iN2L, see what they like, see what they can add, so that they can lead a group.

There are opportunities to engage not only residents and elders but care partners as well. If you get people to like their job, and give them the opportunity to recreate during it, this can bring an abundance of joy to their role.  As a result, people usually will stay—because they feel valued, because they feel well-known.

 

One more thing—are there any tips or tricks you’d like to share?

The sound on the tablet is quite excellent. We’ve placed tablets in the corners of small rooms sometimes, and it’s like surround sound without having to buy a surround sound system.  

 

Leverage Technology in Your Community

We are thankful to Olivia for sharing how Vivage uses iN2L for a full day of activities. You can use these strategies at your organization to help IDTs keep engagement experiences consistent and meaningful in ways that benefit both residents and caregivers.

 

Key Takeaways

  • iN2L makes programming easier, saving staff planning time and keeping engagement fresh
  • Every member of the IDT can be involved in resident engagement
  • iN2L has enough content to fill entire days, enabling high-quality consistent engagement experiences

 

Did You Know?

There’s CMP funding available to help your skilled nursing facility improve resident engagement. iN2L offers consulting services focused on securing CMP projects grants and utilizing technology to achieve fund goals. For more information regarding CMP funding for your organization, please reach out to me at ProgramPartnerships@iN2L.com.

 


 

About the Author

India Brown enjoys being part of the Program Partnerships team at iN2L, where she leverages her knowledge of best practices in person-centered care to connect skilled nursing communities with tools to meet their goals and the needs of their stakeholders. Before joining iN2L in 2019, India held various roles in care settings across the elder care spectrum. She has a bachelor’s degree from Dillard University and a master’s degree in media studies from The Pennsylvania State University. Connect with India on LinkedIn or via email.

;

Enrich the Daily Lives of Residents

The pandemic has presented challenges but also opportunities for senior living operators.

Download our white paper to learn how technology can help your community dramatically improve the resident engagement experience.

iN2L_Enabling Expanding Enriching Residents World