neuro rehab

Q&A: Neuro-Rehab

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month & we're proud to support our dedicated therapist users. On a recent customer success support call, a speech-language pathologist asked if we could provide a marketing summary of the benefits of RESTORE when working with neuro-rehab patients.

How RESTORE can help clinicians accelerate and optimize outcomes with stroke and brain injury patients:

RESTORE-Skills’ therapeutic gamification platform comprehensively supports clinicians by targeting the functional deficits and underlying neurological impairments most commonly presented by stroke and brain injury patients. Using a laptop or mobile device, therapists can quickly access and customize over 200 games and activities targeting the physical, cognitive, and life-readiness skills necessary to accelerate and optimize clinical outcomes.

Patients move more, stand longer, and refuse treatment less by combining skill-building with fun activities based on their personal interests such as skiing in a world-cup race, pulling a slot machine handle, flying a plane, or practicing their medication management. Every game has settings that can be adjusted to ensure the player can experience success, even if it’s their first time video gaming. A patient’s family members and friends can be invited to remotely join a therapy session via a user-friendly, video-conferencing experience to see their loved one, offer encouragement, and add motivation by playing along all from the safety of their own home.

neuro rehab

 

 

"I feel the games have helped me to improve the movement and coordination in my arm. I'm right-handed so it's important I regain as much as I can to get back to what I used to do. My favorite game is Plinko.  I use my left hand to support my right arm in getting the chips to the top of the board. We had a tournament last week and I actually got the best score on one of the days. It was a lot of fun!"

 

Video games are most successful when they are easy to access, easy to learn, and easy to use.

The game must also be gradable, or adaptable to an individual’s ability. The more relatable and meaningful the games are to the individual, the more the patient is excited to use the program.  When players (patients) are having fun & engaged they focus less on targeted skills and more on the game. RESTORE-Skills makes rehabilitation more fun, stretching patients’ abilities playfully and diverting their attention away from discomfort, anxiety, or frustration.

 

Mini Golf Masters

New Game: Mini Golf Masters

Spring is here & the course is open!

With the Masters in full swing, we are excited to launch our newest game: Mini Golf Masters. Our seasonal content is wonderful for cognition and reality orientation and is always a huge hit with our players! You definitely don't want to skip these 18 holes.

 

mini golf masters

Have fun controlling your putter side to side to navigate obstacles and sink the golf ball in the hole! This course is tricky, so players will have 3 balls per hole. Don't let the golf ball miss the putter & fall through the bottom of the screen. Better scores are awarded for early success on each hole. Try to finish your round under par!

Strike while the iron is hot, login to start the mini-golf fun with your residents today!

Not yet a user? Contact us to schedule a live demo for your team and learn more about our subscriptions.

st patrick's games

Get Lucky with Our St. Patrick’s Games! ☘️

We know how valuable seasonal content is for cognition, reality orientation, reminiscing, and FUN! So this week our users & players are having a shamrockin' good time with our St. Patrick's themed games.

 

Jack-pot-of-Gold

Jack-Pot-of-Gold

Players will pull the slots to collect three  (3) matching lucky items to win the round! Attach a sticker to your player’s chest to target weight-shifting, balance, and squatting. When asked why the slot-machine is their favorite game a player said, "I have to really concentrate on it. It makes me change hands too. It's a great, fun game. I love it!"

Leprechaun’s Loot

Help your patients embrace their mischievous side playing as a leprechaun in our newest activity. Like virtual air-hockey, players move up & down in order to protect their side and score against their opponent.  Watch out, the longer the game is played, the quicker the pot of gold moves between players. 

 

st. patrick's day plinko

St. Patty's Plinko

Looking for a fun way to engage your residents during your St. Patrick’s festivities? Reach for a chip from the stack and place it in a slot atop the Plinko board as you try to end up in a high-scoring slot at the bottom of the board. Each chip has a score multiplier, the board is dynamic, and score slots increase in value every minute! 

 

Be sure to log in to RESTORE-Skills to celebrate with these lucky games while you can. Your residents are sure to have a blast. Wishin' you a pot o' gold & all the joy your heart can hold!

Q&A: Player Dignity

Question: 

We love the RESTORE technology; however, one concern we have is that many of the games appear “child-like” and we worry about this from a dignity standpoint with our senior population. Have you had anyone else with this concern?  Any insight is appreciated. 

 

Answer: 

Thank you for the feedback and important question. 

Our platform takes into consideration that the majority of skilled nursing residents have a degree of cognitive impairment (in addition to any physical limitations). From my OT and Dementia Capable Care background, we have applied the theory of retrogenesis (back to birth) to our platform. That is not to say treat adults like children, but to appreciate that their developmental ability levels have regressed to the chronological age of 4-16 years old. It is important to keep simplistic themes, actions, and graphics for our population and to be able to grade the games based on the degree of difficulty settings.

 

RESTORE Player Testimonial

The most important key is to ensure an individual is able to experience success. We do not receive concerns related to graphics when the therapists and care partners have ensured the player meets with success and not frustration. Since many have not played these types of games before, the hesitancy is more related to anxiety that they will not perform well and therefore may remark that it is stupid or for kids, but this is typically a defense mechanism.

Video games are the most popular consumed media today and have officially overtaken the sport and movie industries in 2021. We are talking about games like Candy Crush, Mario Kart, Bubble Pop, etc. I'm currently addicted to a Harry Potter Match 3 game (and not even a huge Harry Potter fan lol). If you love games and you love competition, the graphics/animations are secondary to your success and FUN!

 

 

Get Your Game on with Grandma

How video games can strengthen the relationships seniors value most

While the vast majority of video gaming enthusiasts are millennials, a growing crop of older adults are accessing video gaming technology for entertainment, cognitive stimulation, physical activity, and social fulfillment. They’re even making video games a part of their health and well being.

During the pandemic, the increased adoption of video games among seniors is proving to be more important than ever. This is especially true for skilled nursing and senior living residents in need of a lifeline to counter the effects of social isolation and loneliness.

Some senior care centers are even using video games as a means of skill-building, applying newly developed therapy and wellness technologies into their clinical approach. In my work as CCO and occupational therapist at RESTORE-Skills, I regularly see seniors use gaming technology to reach therapy milestones faster and improve physical and cognitive abilities. At the same time, they’re strengthening relationships with loved ones and friends by connecting virtually via fun, therapeutic video games on our platform. This happens all from the safety of their rooms.

All of this comes as no surprise to those studying the impact of video games on seniors. A study of adults ages 60-80 published recently in Behavioural Brain Research indicated that video games may be used to enhance cognitive health in older adults. The findings suggest that both novel experiences and exposure to rich three-dimensional environments may work together to improve cognition.

Based on these findings and my own experience, skilled nursing facilities and senior living communities need to become early adopters of this new technology or be left behind.

Tournament gaming enhances social connections and fosters a sense of community

Users of RESTORE-Skills also benefit socially and emotionally by playing virtual tournaments against friends and family as part of their therapy and wellness regiment. What’s more, they’re sharing a common language with Millennial and Gen Z grandchildren outside of these sessions. 

This is because there can be limits to conversation among seniors and their loved ones, especially for those in skilled nursing homes dealing with language impairments. It doesn’t help that many younger people are accustomed to rarely making phone calls, preferring text and social media apps instead. 

The wider the generation gap, the harder it is today to make small talk.

Unless you’re talking about video games. 

Skilled nursing and senior living residents learn a new language to share with younger relatives

Consider the following example from among skilled nursing patients we have served in therapy. A male patient, and former salesman with a gift for gab, suffered a stroke and had expressive aphasia, limiting his ability to communicate. He also had limited movement of his right upper and lower extremities. When we introduced him to our therapy video game solution, he was eager to give it a try. Although he had never played video games before, he considered it a way to impress and relate to his son and grandson, both avid video game players. 

This patient is one of many.

 

 

A study published in Sage Journals revealed that sharing in video games fosters relationships and connections while producing positive emotions for both grandparents and grandchildren. “As a consequence, game designers should take into consideration ways to enhance these social aspects of gameplay.”

Seniors who play video games now have a shared language to connect with their kids or grandkids. Instead of brief conversations about what’s happening at school, they can instead play a game together and make it part of the patient’s therapy exercises. 

Prior to the pandemic, one 88-year old senior living resident and great-grandmother was introduced to a virtual skill-building therapy session to improve her range of motion, coordination, and ability to perform activities of daily living. She willingly participated but wasn’t overly enthusiastic. 

Ten minutes into the session, her two great-grandsons surprised her with a visit, raced into the room and asked for a turn. She shared her red ball-shaped controller, and the boys took turns sitting on her lap while they waited to play. 

The staff later learned this was the first time one of the boys, who has autism, had ever entered his grandma’s room willingly and engaged physically. Such is the potential healing and connective power of this essential language and activity. 

This kind of interaction makes a difference in any scenario, but especially in a season where grandkids are holding up signs at windows of skilled nursing facilities in lieu of actual visits.

 

Video games create generational connection while providing crucial therapy

Learning the language of video gaming gives both family members and their senior relatives a productive way to spend time together. And, the pandemic has led more seniors to be open to adopting new technology out of pure necessity.

In 2020, the pandemic propelled the video game industry to make more money than movies and North American sports combined. There’s no indication this will slow in 2021.

As more people adopt video gaming technology, the benefits are clear. Research is showing the power of video gaming, especially on cognition of older adults; making it crucial that video games are widely adopted by healthcare. 

Adding therapy to video games and enabling families to connect through the technology is an incredible opportunity for post-acute rehab providers especially. 

 

Making therapy fun with video games leads to better outcomes

Refusals are always a challenge for healthcare professionals to overcome, especially in skilled nursing and rehab facilities. However, making therapy and wellness sessions fun and engaging can lead to more positive outcomes. 

One male patient who had a history of multiple falls and therefore a reluctance to leave his room was refusing physical therapy support. However, he eagerly agreed to try out the RESTORE-Skills video gaming platform as a fun way to achieve his balance goals and reduce his risk of falling. 

He was able to virtually ski in a world cup race, pull a slot machine handle to win a jackpot, and rock climb to the top of an ancient temple – all interests he had never experienced before. As soon as he finished his session, he shared how excited he was to tell his grandson all about his experience. He actually remained in the therapy clinic to watch and encourage others as they participated. 

Making video gaming accessible for seniors

The key to successfully adopting video gaming technology for those in senior care centers is making the video games accessible and user friendly. Any video gaming technology for seniors must have the following features: 

  • Easy to access
  • Easy to learn
  • Easy to use
  • Gradable (adaptable to an individual’s abilities)
  • Relatable
  • Meaningful
  • Have audio and video call compatibility

Access to virtual communities of friends and peers

Besides making therapy fun, video games inspire users to play and achieve more through gamification. Competition, collaboration, achievements, and a sense of community drive people to meet their goals in an enjoyable way. 

Our RESTORE-Together feature allows patients and players to play interactively with loved ones and friends in a facility or across the country from the safety of their rooms. One patient’s siblings were unable to visit during a recent short-term rehabilitation admission. They worried that their phone calls didn’t provide enough meaningful connection. 

The healthcare team coordinated for the patient’s siblings to join his therapy session to encourage him and participate themselves. They watched their brother stand for ten minutes at a “slot machine,” trying to win the jackpot with a weighted controller. It was a huge improvement over his previous best record of only one minute.

The therapist was then able to send a code to the patient’s siblings so they could play a slot machine tournament together, followed by a “Let it Snow Bingo” game that helped with hand-eye coordination, sustained attention, strengthening, and activity tolerance. 

Being able to share this experience with others is a key to healing success. 

 

In-room player

The fact that seniors can use video games to connect to their loved ones is an added bonus to the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial benefits the technology offers. The gamification and fun aspects make programs like RESTORE-Skills appealing enough for seniors to work on skills more effectively. 

Confidence to strengthen the mind, body, and social connections that matter most  

When seniors have access to video game technology for skill-building, they experience greater confidence, as well as an increased desire to regain social skills and connections. Even the staff enjoys training and learning how to use this technology to benefit their patients. 

Video games are most successful when they are easy to access, easy to learn, and easy to use. The game must also be gradable, or adaptable to an individual’s ability. The more relatable and meaningful the games are to the individual, the more the patient is excited to use the program. 

Skilled nursing facilities and senior living communities must adapt to offer residents the opportunity to learn the language of video games. By creating virtual communities, tournaments, avatars, and immersive experiences in a world without borders, seniors can work on developing skills in a meaningful, collaborative and entertaining way.

Just don’t be surprised when grandma gets the high score! 

bingo

“Let It Snow Bingo” is LIVE!

You asked, we delivered! We know your residents have missed the excitement of competition that comes with their regularly attended bingo game. The pandemic has limited seniors’ ability to engage in this tried and true activity, so we responded by creating a virtual version of the classic game. 

Traditional BINGO encourages socialization, helps maintain cognition, and promotes eye-hand coordination. Plus, it’s just plain fun! Now, your residents can play interactively with their loved ones, peers in their center, and/or with other players across the country - all from the safety of their rooms or in a socially distanced setting!

Let It Snow Bingo

Use your controller to spin the cage, pick up a BINGO ball, and either place it on your card or place it in the discard bin next to your board. Don't forget to press "BINGO" when you complete a row vertically (up/down), horizontally (across), or diagonally. Get points for placing balls and getting as many BINGOs as you can before time runs out! 

 

Skills Addressed: Functional reach, eye-hand coordination, sustained attention, concentration, decision-making, activity tolerance

Let it Snow BINGO
Let it Snow BINGO

Clinical Benefits of Let it Snow Bingo:

  • Physical benefits: Upper extremity coordination and functional reach, activity tolerance, and balance for sitting or standing.
  • Cognitive benefits: Sustained attention, goal-directed, concentration, decision making, scanning
  • Social benefits: Mitigate social isolation by competing with others (i.e. family members, friends, other patients or residents)

Be sure to log in and check out “Let it Snow Bingo” for yourself. Better yet, set up a multiplayer game for your residents to connect with their loved ones today! Don’t have access and want to learn more? Give us a call (234) 303-0723 or send us an email info@restoreskills.com to schedule your live demo.

We RESTORE-Skills TOGETHER

Q&A: RESTORE-Together

Question: 

Tell me more about RESTORE-Together and it’s benefits? What is the difference between a live game and a private game?

Answer:

We are very excited to be able to introduce RESTORE-Together, which for the first time allows patients/players to play interactively with their loved ones, other patients/residents in their center, and/or with other players across the country - all from the safety of their rooms or in a socially distanced setting. Our primary motivation was to advocate for older adults, vulnerable to the risks of social isolation, by providing access to a virtual community of skill-builders.

Benefits:

  • Helps mitigate the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial risks of isolation by connecting patients/residents with others they know and love
  • Fosters a sense of community to have patients, therapists, and care partners interacting in a similar skill-building fashion with their peers nationwide
  • Increases fun, engagement, and motivation to accelerate outcomes and provide a better patient experience

Live games:

  • The ability to join a desired game with others is always open and does not require a code
  • A player joins, enters a player name/identifier, indicates readiness, and waits a short time (often less than 1 minute) to see other players that join the competition
  • Players will always know the score in head-to-head games or where they rank in tournament-style games

Private games: 

  • Allow a user to send a code to designated participants who can join the action by visiting the website restoreskills.com/together, entering the code, and following the instructions
  • Adds motivation for the player as he/she will be interacting with family members, friends, or peers that they have expressed an interest in joining a fun and competitive RESTORE skill-building session
  • If an audio exchange is desired during the session, we recommend having a phone or video conference call
    • Note - we are working on a simple, emoji-based way to communicate within the game play if audio is not available or desired
    • Note - some video conferencing apps will need to have the camera turned off so that RESTORE has primary access to the camera
  • Players will always know the score in head-to-head games or where they rank in tournament-style games

Instructions for a player joining upon receiving a private game invite:

  • Open Google Chrome and go to: restoreskills.com/together
  • Secure the four (4) character code from the invitee and enter it in the text box
  • Click “Join” to enter the private game
  • If prompted, select “allow” to enable camera access
  • Have a red, green, or blue rounded object available for play (i.e., ball, apple, container lid, cup, etc.)
  • When prompted, use your mouse to select the color of your rounded object 
  • To calibrate, bring your controller to the center of the square, making sure the camera can clearly see the color of the object

 

  • Enter your name or identifier in the text box and click ‘save’

 

  • Click the ‘Ready’ button. When all players are ready, the game will start after a 20 second countdown 

When players (patients) are having fun and engaged they focus less on targeted skills and more on the game. Fostering a sense of community by connecting with others will help mitigate the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial risks of isolation.

GAMES FOR SKILL BUILDING

New Multiplayer Activity: Plinko Party

If you love to play our hit game “Jackpot” then get ready for our new game “Plinko Party”Players can experience the FUN of virtually dropping their tokens into a Plinko board either individually in a therapy session, remotely with their loved ones & peers, or even participate in live, nationwide gaming tournaments -- all from the safety of their rooms!

games for skill building

Plinko Party 

Players can experience the excitement of the classic game show favorite, with RESTORE’s interactive Plinko board! To play, use the controller to guide the on-screen hand to the falling tokens. Hold the hand over a token to select it and pick it up. Move the hand with a token to the top of the Plinko board. Choose a slot and hold your position to release the token. Watch it drop down the board until it reaches one of the point totals! Bonus tokens give players the opportunity to multiply their score, but watch out, the board is dynamic, so the scores will shuffle as they play!

games for therapy

Clinical Benefits of Plinko Party

  • Physical benefits: Upper extremity coordination and functional reach, activity tolerance, and balance for sitting or standing.
  • Cognitive benefits: Sustained attention, goal-directed, concentration, decision making, scanning
  • Social benefits: Mitigate social isolation by competing with others (i.e. family members, friends, other patients or residents)

Be sure to login to check out “Plinko Party” for yourself. Better yet, set up a multiplayer game for your residents to connect with their loved ones today! Don’t have access and want to learn more? Give us a call (234) 303-0723 or send us an email info@restoreskills.com to schedule your live demo.

Falls Prevention

Q&A: Falls Prevention

Question: 

How can we utilize RESTORE with our patients in support of falls prevention?

Answer:

Great question. To start we have to consider the physical and cognitive components required for a comprehensive falls prevention approach:

  • Core and lower body strengthening (squats, lunges, etc.) to improve center of gravity control, stability to support sitting and standing
  • Static and dynamic sitting and standing balance (no reaching, single extremity reach, bilateral hands-free isolated and integrated movement patterns)
  • Weight-shifting, lateral mobility, forward/backward mobility
  • Activity tolerance for posture, movement required for completion of self-care, leisure skills, home and community management
  • Sustained attention, concentration, visual scanning, sequencing, safety awareness, decision making, following commands/direction 

RESTORE can be used in support of each component. Progress can be accelerated by combining functional skill-building with immersive, interactive content (preferably person-centered based on the expressed interests of the player). Let’s consider the following:

 

  • Game controllers calibrate to most red, green, blue objects. 

 

  • If working on functional reaching, select objects appropriate to maintain grasp/hand control or optimized for patients with only gross motor extremity control 
  • The calibrated controller for mobility should optimally have a center of the body placement (between chest and abdomen) so the player can maintain hands-free (especially if in need of assistive device)
  • Use the controller/camera view box (camera or white box in the lower right portion of the screen which tracks controller connection) to assist with patient positioning based on desired movement patterns
  •  

    • Game settings and webcam settings can be graded based on the current physical and cognitive abilities of your player:

     

    • Backgrounds can be adjusted for greater contrast or to simplify visual display
    • Speeds and difficulty can be ranged from easiest to most difficult
    • Music and effects can be varied for appropriate encouragement and engagement
    • Range of motion capture can be reduced for players with limitations or expanded for those with full range capabilities
      • Best for games challenging a combination of up/down, left/right, and diagonal movement patterns
      • Best for games challenging a combination of up/down and left/right movement patterns
      • Best for game challenging left/right movement patterns in sitting, and left/right, forward/backward movement patterns in standing
    • Webcam setting options
    • Full, medium, small screen capture
    • Large, medium, small circular capture (narrows capture from square to circular configuration) 
    • Large, medium, small semi-circular capture (maintains top screen circular capture, but removes bottom screen circular capture requirement

     

    Demonstrate intended movements and explain why they are critical components to limiting or preventing falls

    • Patients are often fearful of falling. Having the ability to pattern their movements after seeing the therapist in action, can instill greater understanding and confidence 

     

    • Determine which skill areas you plan to target and match the game(s) with your plan. A few to consider with default game duration:

     

    • Ski Saga (default is 3 minutes). Players can control a skier in a race by stepping/shifting left/right and squatting, or up/down, left/right upper extremity movements to avoid obstacles, slalom between flags, and obtain coins and gems. Bonus points awarded after 10+ successful obstacle navigations
    • Ancient Temple (no set time limit). Players use both hands, sitting or standing, in an alternating up/down movement pattern to simulate rock climbing, with various integrated movement patterns included to challenge this treasure hunt adventure 
    • Spooky Spiders (default 3 minutes). Players utilize a dynamic, upper extremity or mobility, range to shoo away spiders of all sizes dropping/climbing vertically while watching out for a chance to knock a witch off her broom flying horizontally across the screen 
    • Bounce It (default 2 minutes). Players align with a silhouette, sitting or standing,  and can use their knees, feet in an upward motion to connect and juggle a soccer ball.

     

    When players (patients) are having fun and engaged they focus less on targeted skills and more on the game. They have less anxiety or frustration overcoming gravity and a fear of falling, when not focused on that fear every second. When a player demonstrates appropriate control, sustained action, adequate activity tolerance, and desired cognitive function that is when it is most beneficial to follow up a RESTORE session with a functional activity as they will now have the confidence to complete successfully.

    RESTORE Self-Feeding Skills

    Q&A: Self-Feeding Goals

    Question: 

    How can RESTORE help therapists to support self-feeding goals with patients?

    Answer:

    Great question. To start we have to consider the physical and cognitive components required for self-feeding:

    • Ability to bring hand to mouth
    • Ability to apply and sustain proper grasp or prehension to a utensil or finger food item
    • Activity tolerance for posture, movement for anticipated feeding duration
    • Sustained attention, concentration, problem-solving, sequencing

    RESTORE can be used in support of each component. Progress can be accelerated by combining functional skill-building with immersive, interactive content (preferably person-centered based on the expressed interests of the player). Let’s consider the following:

    • Game controllers calibrate to most red, green, blue objects. 
      • If working on up/down movements with hands for finger food, select objects to replicate prehension or grasp
      • You may even consider real food items in the color family such as grapes, tomatoes, apples, candy, etc.
      • If working with utensils, select a spoon that is red, blue, green or can have a colored sticker attachment
    • Game settings and webcam settings can be graded based on the current physical and cognitive abilities of your player:
      • Backgrounds can be adjusted for greater contrast or to simplify visual display
      • Speeds and difficulty can be ranged from easiest to most difficult
      • Music and effects can be varied for appropriate encouragement and engagement
      • Range of motion capture can be reduced for players with limitations or expanded for those with full range capabilities
    • Almost every RESTORE game has upper extremity motor compatibility. A few to consider with default game duration:
      • Take Flight (plays based on lives, duration not limited). Players can control a plane in flight with up and down movement to avoid obstacles and obtain coins and gems.
      • Jackpot (default is 5 minutes). Players can have the slot machine handle alternating sides after each pull or remain on one a single side for more concentrated motion
      • Bullseye (default 2 minutes). Players can control a bow and arrow to hit various targets and bonus items, while avoiding penalty items such as dynamite
      • Ladybugs or Car Cross (rounds of play). Players practice up/down movements to assist ladybugs or cars to cross a bridge, while avoiding allowing pests or undesirables to cross

    When players (patients) are having fun and engaged they focus less on targeted skills and more on the game. They have less anxiety or frustration in trying to bring food to mouth, if only working on this during self-feeding. When a player demonstrates appropriate control, sustained action, adequate activity tolerance, and desired cognitive function that is when it is most beneficial to follow up a RESTORE session with an actual self-feeding session.  

    Practice Self Feeding with RESTORE