Technology That Keeps Elders Engaged and Involved
“Technology in general opens up a whole new world for elders,” says Ben Cornthwaite, the administrator of Renaissance Gardens at Greenspring in Springfield, Va. Ben’s community is one that has made a commitment to embrace a variety of aging-services technologies.
The Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST) broadly defines aging-services technologies as those that can influence the aging experience for seniors, including their quality of life, health outcomes, satisfaction and/or the quality of care they receive. CAST groups these technologies into four broad categories: Safety, Health and Wellness, Social Connectedness and Electronic Documentation.
Renaissance Gardens at Greenspring is exploring technology in the social connectedness category by working with Linked Senior, a company that is pioneering the use of MP3 audio and visual content to improve the lives of elders living in senior housing communities.
The system is the first MP3 player for seniors and centers on a centrally-located kiosk in the community where residents and staff can choose from a variety of content, such as audiobooks, music and visuals. The resident can choose to utilize the kiosk for listening to content or downloading it to an easy-to-use portable MP3 player. Individuals and groups can even enjoy games and brain fitness at the kiosk.
The Linked Senior system has been used and tested by hundreds of residents at senior living communities across the country. The current product reflects input from users, hours of research, and cutting-edge technology.
Ben sees the product being especially helpful to those that might have developed a fear of technology. He says, “The nice thing about the kiosk is how easy it is to use to access the content that is available.”