It’s Never 2 Late, a company dedicated to bringing person-centered engagement technology and accessible computing to promote greater connections, engagement and enjoyment for today’s seniors, announced today its engagement systems were the focus of a study that has won the 2016 National LeadingAge Award for Excellence in Research and Education.
LeadingAge, the largest organization representing senior living providers nationwide, announced that Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay , a Virginia Beach, VA — senior living community, is the recipient of this award. The award will be presented at the LeadingAge National Conference in November, 2016 in Indianapolis. Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, collaborating with Eastern Virginia Medical School and Virginia Wesleyan College, led a 24-week study known as The Birdsong Initiative. The goal of the study was to investigate how customized, touchscreen technology might improve the quality of life for residents with dementia. Thirty-one nursing and memory care residents had personalized, iN2L® touchscreen engagement systems available to them in their rooms 24/7. Another 31 took part in routine, face-to-face therapeutic recreation.
The study’s principal investigators found statistically significant improvement in the affect balance scale, the major quality of life assessment. While data analysis is ongoing, some residents in the experimental group saw lower depression; fewer and less intense behavioral episodes; and higher cognition scoring while aging during the study. On the staff side of the study, researchers also found lower caregiver stress. The team found residents with dementia can enjoy the computers on their own. In fact, during the study, residents used the computer 25 hours per week beyond the 5 hours of volunteer help weekly to train them.
The computers were redeployed between studies at the insistence of staff as an intervention tool for certain behaviorally challenged residents. More and more computers are being introduced in rooms after the studies, and there has been no request to increase staffing after the initial volunteer time acquainting residents with the computers.
Through this donor-supported study, approved by the Institutional Review Board of Eastern Virginia Medical School, Westminster-Canterbury demonstrated that the iN2L engagement systems, in conjunction with therapeutic recreation, can positively impact wellness and significantly improve quality of life. The Birdsong Initiative is now planning similar studies focusing on assisted living and independent living residents.
“We are thrilled that iN2L engagement systems were involved in this study and that now the results have received national recognition,” said Jack York, president and co-founder of It’s Never 2 Late. “The high number of hours it was used indicates it is fun, can improve quality of life by bringing more joy during a tough time in life, and helps busy caregivers with the high stress of dementia care. That sure beats the value of cable TV. Moreover, some residents gain in cognition and other wellness dimensions. It sets the right environment for lower dependence on drugs. I’m glad the dream is being validated.”