WINK-TV INterview / Port Charolette

NEWS: RESTORE Skills featured on WINK-TV (CBS, Myers, FL)

RESTORE-Skills was featured on WINK News (Fort Myers, FL). Below is an excerpt from the segment featuring a patient & two staff members from Signature HealthCARE of Port Charlotte:

New virtual therapy technology used inside nursing homes is giving patients the care they need and giving them a way to have fun too.

Sally Connelly-Jones is a fighter. A survivor. She suffered a stroke. Beat it. Got COVID-19. Beat that too.

What’s next?

“I miss shopping,” Connelly said.

Jones lives at nursing home Signature HealthCARE Port Charlotte in Charlotte County.

Jones told us the loneliness has been almost as bad as her stroke.

“It was the stay in your room and not go out in the hall, not go outside and breathe some fresh air,” Jones said.

That stroke left her left side numb.

“I really hated therapy when I started because it wasn’t fun. It was very painful,” Jones said. “But you know, the more I work, the harder I got at it. And I said, you know, this is not going to say who I am. I’m going to dictate to it.”

What helped was new virtual technology. It looks and feels like a game, but it’s much more.

Check out the full news story HERE!

telehealth

NEWS: Ian Oppel Interviewed for “Telehealth Best Practices” Series

Below is an excerpt from the Telehealth Best Practices interview series:

In this interview series, called “Telehealth Best Practices; How To Best Care For Your Patients When They Are Not Physically In Front Of You” we are talking to successful Doctors, Dentists, Psychotherapists, Counselors, and other medical and wellness professionals who share lessons and stories from their experience about the best practices in Telehealth. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ian Oppel.

Ian Oppel is a healthcare executive with over 25 years of post-acute healthcare leadership experience providing expertise in rehabilitation, fiscal and clinical operations, memory care, senior living, reimbursement, and regulatory compliance. Ian is currently the Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer for RestoreSkills, a leading edge therapeutic gamification and telehealth company.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

At one of the very first skilled nursing facilities to implement RESTORE, I was introducing the gaming platform to an 88 year-old patient who was recovering from congestive heart failure. She wasn’t enthusiastic about video games, but was a good sport and willing to try with a goal to increase her standing activity tolerance. 1 minute into the game, her two great-grandchildren ran into the room shouting “Grandma, Grandma we want to play!” She sat down with a huge smile on her face. She handed over the controls to one of the grandsons, while the other sat patiently on her lap before taking his turn. The boys’ mother came over to me and softly asked “what is this and how do I get it for my home?” Before I could answer, she continued with tears in her eyes “my son sitting on her lap is autistic and this is the first time he’s ever entered the room with my grandmother let alone allowed her to embrace him.”

To have played any part of that magical moment was incredible and to this day motivates me to do everything I can to help customers and clients to experience successes both large and small.

...

Can you share a few ways that Telehealth can create opportunities or benefits that traditional in-office visits cannot provide? Can you please share a story or give an example?

I was assisting a clinician during a telehealth session with a patient who had suffered a stroke. The patient was part of a large, supportive family who lived near Atlantic City, NJ. He was an avid gambler and the family would make a monthly visit for a weekend of slot machine play. RESTORE-Skills has a game called Jackpot, which is a virtual slot machine with settings that can be adjusted based on a patient’s physical and cognitive ability level to ensure success. The therapist coordinated a virtual session to include the patient’s brother and sister. Initially they observed the session and offered encouragement to their loved one as he played his favorite game. They began to reminisce about the last time they were in the casino together. Then it clicked for the sister as she noticed an improvement in how her brother was moving his arm while pulling the lever of the slot machine (which moved to the opposite side after each pull to challenge his range of motion and coordination). “That’s great exercise and you’re doing something you love at the same time. This makes me so happy” she exclaimed. The therapist was then able to provide the family members with a code that enabled them to all play together on the same screen in a five minute slot tournament. After the session was complete, the therapist noted that it was the longest the patient had stood while performing activity and that it was clear interactivity from his family was key in providing added motivation.

Telehealth evolved out of the need for greater access, flexibility, and demand. Access to quality health providers. Access to reliable transportation. Flexibility for busy schedules/lifestyles. Providers can better meet the increasing demand for patient visits when provided virtually from a single location.

Covid-19 has certainly accelerated the use and scope of telehealth services. At RESTORE-Skills, early on we identified that perhaps an even greater risk than covid for our clients was the challenge of mitigating the risks of social isolation for patients as visitation in senior living came to an abrupt halt. We introduced a new feature, RESTORE-Together, which enabled clinicians working with a patient in their room to invite family members, friends, or even connect with other patients/residents during treatment sessions. They were able to offer visual and verbal encouragement, as well as interactively play on the same screen from the safety of their own homes or rooms.

Check out the full interview with our Chief Clinical Officer, Ian Oppel HERE!

adopting new tech

NEWS: Adopting New Technology in Rehab

Our Chief Clinical Officer, Ian Oppel, had the opportunity to be interviewed for Episode 024: Adopting New Technology in Rehab of the Rehab U Podcast. Below, find a brief description of the insightful conversation:

In this world of ever-changing technology –from telehealth to digital practice management— one challenge presents itself: how can organization incentivize or encourage staff and clinicians to adopt these new tools into their everyday practice? Some of these tools and platforms involve large investments of man-power, time, and dollars. Organizations definitely want to ensure that their investment in innovative care actually ends up being used to improve outcomes & effectiveness of care.

Well, my guest this week, Ian Oppel, sees this firsthand everyday. He’s the Chief Clinical Officer at RESTORE-Skills, a company that gamifies the rehab process through a technological platform connecting clinicians, patients, and family/members & support systems. They’re tool allows organizations to inch closer to value-based care.

What we cover in this Episode

  • The move to Value-Based care
  • Telehealth & Virtual Care
  • How communication affects patient care, engagement, and experience
  • How we can use data and technology to promote Better Outcomes
  • Understanding knowledge transfer and how it can improve clinical outcomes
  • How technology should enhance, not detract from the patient experience
  • Taking a Biopsychosocial Approach to healthcare

Listen to Ian's full conversation with Rehab U's Rafi Salazar HERE!

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!

 

 

Director of Clinical Success

Q&A: Getting to know RESTORE-Skill’s new Director of Clinical Success, Suzi Fullam, COTA/L

What do you do at RESTORE-Skills and in what circumstances would I come to you for something?

It is a challenge to learn anything new. It takes time, interest, repetition, and often a little coaching and encouragement. As a therapist in the Director of Clinical Success role, I work directly with clinicians, no matter their level of experience, to support them in their goal to accelerate clinical outcomes through their use of our therapeutic, skill-building games. My job is to help our users reach their goals in a fun and creative way and celebrate their success along the way. Most importantly, I learn from their valuable feedback, which I take back to our development team so that we can continue to improve the platform and align RESTORE with what is being requested. 

RETSORE's new Director of Clinical Success

Suzi Fullam, COTA/L, Director of Clinical Success with her beloved dog Tuna.

Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)?

Dog person! My fur child’s name is Tuna, she’s a rescue, a Labradane, and like me the runt of the litter!

Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?

My mother. She is a very hard worker and has been a role model for me growing up. She showed us as kids that with hard work you can achieve anything you want. My mom started as a secretary at Bell Atlantic which is now known as Verizon. She worked very hard and they paid for her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s Degree, both graduations I was in attendance for. After climbing the Verizon ladder, she was able to retire at the nice age of 52. She influences me to be like her, to work so hard I can have the things I want. 

 

What led you to this career path?

In my career as a therapist, I’ve come to appreciate the role technology and digital health will play in the future of healthcare. After using RESTORE in my own practice and seeing the impact tech can have on patients’ motivation and engagement, I knew I wanted to be a part of this journey to help as many people overcome their resistance to embracing that innovative healthcare technology now. 

How do you prefer to start and end your day?

I prefer to start my day with coffee, I prefer to end my day with snuggles from my dog. Although, should probably have one of those answers as exercise but so far it’s just a dream. 

What three words would your friends use to describe you?

Fun, Loveable, Loyal.

What’s changed you about the COVID-19 pandemic, and why?

My husband and I have a calendar in our kitchen, pre-covid it was full of social events every Saturday and Sunday for months. Some of our close friends and family would get annoyed by it trying to plan something last minute. Since Covid-19 our calendar has emptied and I think I like it better now than it was before. Covid-19 has made me a “home-body” and a proud one. 

If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation. Snap my fingers and be somewhere without having to travel or spend time on the road.

What is your favorite thing to do when not at work?

Attend Philadelphia Eagles games. I am a season ticket holder and die-hard fan!

If you could only eat one food item for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza! Just plain for me, I would prefer to have no toppings at all, but a side of ranch dressing is a necessity.

WREG News Live at 9

NEWS: RESTORE-Skills featured on WREG News Live at 9

RESTORE-Skills' CEO, Eran Arden, spoke with Jerrita Patterson on WREG News' Live at 9 about connecting seniors & their loved ones.

Patterson: More and more senior citizens are really lining up to get coronavirus vaccines across the country. But for many in nursing homes, the pandemic continues to keep them isolated from both family and friends. Now, a new platform is changing the way loved ones can interact all while staying safely apart. This morning, we're live with the CEO of RESTORE-Skills, Eran Arden, to learn more about RESTORE-Together.

Patterson: Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a motivational therapy platform, correct? Explain what this is about.

Arden: Jerrita, thank you very much! Yeah, you are correct. RESTORE-Skills is a gaming enviornment that motivates residents in nursing homes to continue building and matain the skills they need to live independetly. We use a simple computer, so no expensive devices needed, and we have about 200 activities all designed to motivate the patients to stay active. [They can] work on their sit to stand skills, motor skills, range of motion and everything in between all while playing games.

Arden: When the pandemic started, we also realized we also want to help connect family members to their loved ones in the facilities. So, we created an enviornment where residents that are isolated [in their room] can play with their loved ones [who are] at home.

Patterson: What has been the reaction from those in nursing homes? What have you heard? What have you seen so far?

Arden: The reaction is amazing and that's what empowers us to wake up in the morning and develop the [platform] and our games.

Check out the full interview on WREG News' Live at 9 Facebook page HERE!

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.

Spectrum 1 News Ohio

NEWS: RESTORE-Skills featured on Spectrum 1 News Ohio

Below is an excerpt from the story from Spectrum 1 News Ohio:

CLEVELAND — Elizabeth Sims and her caregiver admit that since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, things haven’t been the same at The Heights Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Broadview Heights. Pandemic restrictions have cut out communal dining, team exercise and group therapy at facility.

“Before, we used to be able to be down in the therapy gym. So, it would be fun because they're all around people; you could play games and now, you're really stuck in the rooms with the patients,” Sims says.

Things have taken a turn for the better at the facility. Residents started connecting virtually through RESTORE-Skills, a computer based motivational therapy platform with a multiplayer function that now allows patients the ability to play skill-building games with one another.

“At least they can interact and you're using technology and they can still get involved and do some kind of fun…and it helps her cognitive skills.”  Tina Wilson’s caregiver says.

Check out the full interview with our CEO, Eran Arden, and the team from The Heights HERE!

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.