technology in the pandemic

NEWS: RESTORE-Skills CEO interviewed by CNN

RESTORE-Skills featured in a CNN article titled, “These seniors are turning to cutting edge technology to stay connected during the pandemic”

Below is an excerpt from the article

A unique feature of the program is built-in video calling so families can see their loved ones playing games. Landsman [a resident of The Jewish Home, Freehold, NJ] said he recently played the slot machine game while using the video calling feature to connect with family.

"I just saw my sister on there," Landsman said "She's home with the kids. She cheered me on."

Landsman's sister, Linda Landsman, said that she enjoys watching him play and that it helps her stay connected with her brother, especially during the pandemic.

"He was winning the slot machines, and I was cheering him on that he won," Landsman said. "I thought it was great exercise on top of everything."

Eran Arden, CEO of Restore Skills, said that by the end of July, the company will be launching the ability for families to play along. He also said the video calling feature was new as of May in response to the pandemic.

"When we realized that's a need that we have to answer, we switched our development plan ... and just focused on adding the video conference ability to the platform," Arden said. "We understand how important it is and how patients and their loved ones need to have the ability to see each other."

The article looks at the emergence of technology in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities during the pandemic. Noting that the use of technology can help keep older Americans connected and thriving.

Check out the full story HERE!

COVID-19 News

NEWS: RESTORE-Skills on ABC News’ WCPO-9

RESTORE-Skills featured on ABC News' Cincinnati affiliate in a segment titled, “Concerns Over Nursing Home Visits.”

The segment notes, “Villa Georgetown in Brown County has been getting a little creative. Residents have been using a virtual therapy program called RESTORE to stay active and healthy.”

We were honored to be mentioned on Sunday evening's broadcast as a fun and creative solution to help nursing homes combat the risks of social isolation during COVID-19. 

"Keeping our families connected with their loved ones here has been vital in not only keeping their psychosocial well-being as up as we can, but I think in many degrees keeping them alive," said Daniel Wylie, Executive Director & CEO of Villa Georgetown.

The segment discussed nursing homes struggling to balance fighting loneliness and COVID-19 concerns. In the piece, RESTORE Skills is mentioned as being used at the Crown Healthcare Group facility in Georgetown, Ohio.

Check out the full story HERE!

Dementia care

Dementia Capable Care enhanced with RESTORE

By Ian Oppel, CCO of RESTORE, occupational therapist, and 20-year Dementia Capable Certified Therapist

While residents in skilled nursing facilities continue to struggle in the fourth month of this new normal, those with Alzheimer's disease and dementia have the added challenge of communication barriers, decreased engagement, and the struggle to maintain cognitive function now even more. These are people who depend on a familiar routine, secure connections with loved ones, and group activities to slow the progression of a cruel disease. 

In honor of this June's Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, I want to raise awareness of how RESTORE's interactive gaming therapy software is key to supporting long term care's most vulnerable residents.

Those at the highest risk for deterioration of the disease process with COVID-19 are dementia patients.

Individuals with dementia function best with routine. They need the familiarity of a caregiver and a consistent environment. But because of COVID-19, regular routines are completely disrupted. Like everyone in skilled nursing facilities, those with dementia are spending most of the day in their rooms, often alone and isolated. They aren't able to socialize in group activities and with loved ones, which usually keeps them engaged and able to pattern behavior after others. 

The goal when working with individuals living with Alzheimer's and dementia is to promote their best ability to function to slow or delay the deterioration of a progressive disease. It starts with gaining agreement, followed by making changes to the environment, activity, and/or care partner approach. After working with this population, I know firsthand this takes time and patience because helping residents with Alzheimer's can be so much faster than supporting them to be independent. It's a good intention to want to jump in and help, but supporting these residents too much can leave them more helpless. This is a challenge always, but no doubt, it's even harder now that facilities are staffing challenged.

This is why I consider RESTORE the perfect medium to slow the progression of memory care patients. I've seen patients find engaging games connected to their life history, interests, and abilities. The games support cognitive and behavioral skills, and of course, physical skills. 

Take the WWII pilot I met at our client's facility before COVID-19 hit. He didn't want to work on the motion of lifting his arm to reach for a cone; his therapist was extending in front of him. When I learned that he was a pilot in World War II, I offered to show him our Take Flight game. He ended up getting really engaged and even told me the highlight of his life was meeting General Patton. By the end of our session, he had held his arm and sustained action several times for over two-minute intervals, something that's hard even for me but necessary for completing activities of daily living. And this is just one example of so many.

I'm seeing therapists and even activities staff customize RESTORE to support patients' cognitive and physical abilities, as well as their interests, preferences, habits, tendencies, professions, and family history. Players can golf, pull a slot machine lever, ski in a race, or fly a plane. RESTORE's 30+ games keep players engaged, as well as help with issues such as attention span, concentration, problem-solving, decision-making, and sequencing. Every game exercises cognitive functioning, helping patients with dementia to maintain attention, concentrate, and tap into procedural, working, and long term memory centers. 

Add to this personalization feature the fact that RESTORE is portable and works on any device with a webcam. It's easy to set up and allows every staff member to support skill-building therapy. It's one thing to bring a dementia patient an iPad to play a sensory game or call a family member, but how much more impactful is software that lets patients actively play without handling a device, get immersed in the activity, and invite loved ones to participate virtually?

Connect to family and friends

Just as COVID-19 hit, we added a feature to invite loved ones to join therapy sessions virtually. Having family interaction takes engagement to a whole different level. This is something that we just really haven't ever had the ability to do as therapists. It's incredible to share active treatment sessions with family members who can offer support, encouragement, and help build trust.

While family members are not able to come to the facilities these days, RESTORE can connect family members from where they are and bring them into the room virtually. Once you gain a patient's trust, now they can play RESTORE and have their family members come up on the screen and be able to interact. 

If the family video is too distracting, we can always hide their video, and players can continue with just their loved one's voices. 

I hear clients' stories every day of how RESTORE is keeping residents happy, active, and engaged during this new normal. It's keeping them connected to their families and able to do meaningful therapy work together with their loved ones' support.  And for Alzheimer's and dementia patients, who are the most at risk right now, RESTORE is helping to slow down deterioration even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

video communication

RESTORE helps facilities enhance the new video communication needs and laws

As New York State moves to require all nursing homes to provide no-cost access to teleconferencing services, we at RESTORE Skills are seeing just how auspicious a time it is for skilled nursing facilities to adopt the best of technology.

New York announced on Monday of this week that the state would require long-term care facilities to implement a set of permanent legal updates to its nursing home laws within 90 days. Facilities will need to develop a pandemic preparation plan that must be updated annually, which includes a specific initiative to update families of each facility's status and no-cost access to teleconferencing services to keep in touch with loved ones.

Operators must provide, free of charge, "remote video-conference or equivalent communication methods with family members and guardians," according to the new law, while updating families of infected residents once per day.

Whether states nationwide follow in New York's direction, one thing is clear from our view as a technology company inside this pandemic. Technology in healthcare is here to stay, and those companies that adapt the fastest will be positioned to succeed in the future. 

RESTORE Skills - can help bolster your videoconferencing touchpoints with residents' families while affording residents' valuable skill-building training at the same time.

video communication

This means that instead of keeping up with weekly video chats and care conferences for each resident, families can be invited to join therapy sessions virtually. Everyone benefits from this added touchpoint. Residents get the encouragement they need to show off newly acquired therapy skills. Families get to see their loved ones are being well cared for and meeting new goals. And therapists can customize the experience for each patient by having family input on what most interests the patients. We've created therapy games where everybody wins.

RESTORE's CEO, Eran Arden, has seen firsthand how the therapy games can support skill-building while at the same time, reassuring families that their loved ones are getting the care they need in rehab. "We are seeing facilities turn the videoconferencing touchpoints into an amazing patient-family experience with the bonus of supporting their loved ones in an important skill-building activity. And here to support more facilities to do the same."

RESTORE's platform includes a built-in communication tool that invites families virtually. But it also works with Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams. Imagine how much more meaningful it is for families to communicate during therapy than at a predetermined time when perhaps the patient is too tired or isn't up to having a conversation? Using RESTORE therapy games as a communication tool makes it more like the patient's family is right in the room there with them.

What the future for skilled nursing looks like after the pandemic is yet to be seen. But one thing is for sure. Technology in healthcare will be part of the solution.

Challenges and wins for skilled nursing therapy during COVID-19

Four leaders in the skilled nursing therapy space gathered last week to discuss the state of therapy during COVID-19. They shared challenges and even some wins that have occurred over the past three months in this new normal for long-term care facilities.

Featured panelists were Andrea Gale, VP of case management, Marquis Health Services; Michael Sciacca, CEO, Zimmet Healthcare; and Ian Oppel, OTR, CCO, RESTORE Skills; and Aaryn Crosby, CEO, Adaptive Rehab. Monitoring the discussion was RESTORE Skills CEO Eran Arden.

Highlights of the discussion included the following. Click here to watch the full webinar video. Click here to find out about our COVID-19 special for a better therapy solution during COVID-19.

The challenges for therapy in skilled nursing facilities are many. 

Among those challenges the panelists defined are the following: 

 

Andrea: Helping residents stay connected to loved ones

Mike: The skilled nursing facility industry is lean in a normal time. There's not a lot of redundancy, and the resilience of these organizations has been challenged now that a pandemic has been brought upon them.

Aaryn: Finding ways to address staffing issues and adjust workflow to accommodate for social distancing is a challenge. We’re having to find ways to figure out how to provide quality functional treatment in people's rooms in a way that's portable.

Ian: There are 2.4 million people in long-term care facilities. We have been entrusted with a great responsibility and an escalated need for transparency and accountability beyond what we have previously known.

Andrea: We're seeing an increase in depression and other comorbidities among long-term care patients. Short-term patients are worried about being in the nursing home and not having a family member to sit by their side and advocate for them.

 

What therapy looks like in skilled nursing facilities during COVID-19 

While challenges may seem insurmountable, skilled nursing facilities across the country continue to provide excellent care, and even in some cases, are improving aspects of that care in creative, new ways. Our panelists discuss what they're seeing on the ground in facilities and with patients.

 

Aaryn: In some ways, we are providing a higher quality of treatment during this pandemic. We’re using RESTORE Skills to provide therapy because it's portable and we can roll it down the hallway to bring it into patient rooms. We get them out of bed to do therapeutic activities right there in their rooms. We can connect them with loved ones and everyone feels better knowing their loved ones are okay.

 

Ian: There is truly no team better suited to mitigate the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial risks of isolation than the rehabilitation team. Therapists can add immense value in this new normal, but it is essential they are afforded the time, tools, training, and support. In return, therapists have to be open to changes in the current care delivery model. Staggering schedules to have an extended presence beyond typical 7am-5pm windows with the majority of service between 9-3, lessening resistance to change and ensuring that therapy sessions demonstrate resourcefulness, meaning, engagement, and as much as possible, fun. As therapists, we have a responsibility to connect families and friends of loved ones with video chat to build trust through transparency, allow for encouragement, and provide an opportunity for patient/family education/training. 

 

Andrea: During COVID we’re using laptops in the rooms as well as and using RESTORE Skills in a streaming mode so we can do group exercise and residents feel like they’re with a team. We even have a leader board.

Covid-19’s lasting impact on the future of SNF therapy 

Panelists also discussed how meeting therapy needs during COVID-19 may change the industry permanently. And many of these outcomes look to be positive.

 

Mike: Our goal is to get patients active. Before COVID and PDPM, we were tied to therapy minutes and a whole generation of therapists are used to working like that. PDPM gives us all the flexibility to be creative. The pandemic exacerbates this need so that by necessity we have to be creative.

 

Ian: It's becoming more about the goal and less about the role. There is a clear shift taking place from a focus on individual competence and isolated outcomes in therapy to collective competence and optimizing patient-centered outcomes. Therapists are finding new ways to add value by integrating their care approach with activities, nursing, dietary, social services, and others as their presence has increased away from the therapy gym.        

 

Andrea: It’s even more important now to share positive patient outcomes. We need to produce data on what we’re doing to make people feel at ease as possible. We’re now offering live virtual tours and having to be able to explain how skilled nursing therapy, activities, and a monitored diet can support recovery and help patients avoid readmission.

 

Mike: One of the lasting impacts of this will be telehealth therapy and that this has allowed us all to be more creative in how we provide care. There’s been rapid growth in technology to make our work lives more efficient, as well as increase the connection between family and institutions. 

 

Andrea: As tech-savvy as we were, we still saw ways we can improve our use of technology for efficiency and communication. We have more Zoom and Facetime meetings for communication and care conferences with teams. Providers are moving to telemedicine and still continuing with rounds, but they are able to see more patients now that it’s virtual. And we haven’t seen a difference in outcomes, so we’ll continue to see this grow. Rounds with specialists over telemedicine have opened up avenues for multiple parties on team meetings so there’s more collaboration. 

 

How RESTORE helps therapists meet goals

While skilled nursing facilities across the country are focused on protecting residents from Coronavirus, therapists face the added challenge to keep patients progressing in physical, occupational, speech, and cognitive therapy. Nearly 200 rehabilitation companies and skilled nursing facilities across the U.S. are turning to virtual therapy solution RESTORE Skills to keep patients active and engaged in their rooms – all while having fun and staying in touch with loved ones.

RESTORE Skills is an interactive software product for adult rehabilitation patients that uses any webcam-equipped, Wi-Fi-enabled device as a therapy tool in the gym, at the bedside, or at home post-discharge. The virtual gamification tool that ensures skill-building can happen anywhere is a game-changer during this COVID-19 outbreak.

The state of therapy in our new normal

What is the state of therapy today? Join us for a lively discussion on therapy in skilled nursing facilities now that we are four months into our new normal. You’ll hear from leading experts in SNF therapy, who will provide key takeaways you can bring back to your patients to provide improved care, in spite of the new challenges you face with social isolation during COVID-19.

You’ll hear from the following panelists on how COVD-19 will bring changes to therapy:

 

Andrea Gale, VP of case management, Marquis: “The new normal presents an opportunity to redesign our approach to family and caregiver engagement in our residents’ plan of care and overall outcomes.”

Michael Sciacca, COO, Zimmet Healthcare Services Group: “This situation will change the way we operate for good because it will enhance the use of virtual connections for both short and long-term residents.”

Keith Creagh, Director of Rehab, Genesis Rehab Services: “It has been a very challenging time in healthcare with unprecedented changes to the way we all live and operate. Adversity can bring out the best in humanity and lead to innovation. With the right guidance, inspiration, and some help from technology we are more prepared than ever to deliver high-quality patient care no matter the circumstances and barriers to access.”

Ian Oppel, OTR, CCO RESTORE Skills: “In this new normal there is no team better suited to mitigate the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial risks of social isolation than the rehabilitation team. It is essential that they are afforded the times, tools, training, and support to truly put advocacy in action.”  

Aaryn Crosby, COO, Adaptive Rehab: “We need to be able to deliver functional room treatments. Many patients cannot, or are nervous to come down to the gym. Having a truly fun and interactive therapy session in the room versus a standard therapeutic exercise can increase engagement and mental well-being.”

Topics will include: 

  • What is going through the minds of patients (who are very much at risk for social isolation), families, and friends (going into month 4 of no visitation)?
  • Are therapists essential or non-essential, and how are they defining their value?
  • Census and business development significantly impacted by COVID-19 and the lack of non-COVID related procedures?
  • New messaging be to potential patients, families, and referral sources? 
  • Staffing and resource challenges - individual or collaborative approach?
  • How has your use of technology changed in everyday operations? 
  • Regulation changes, including state licensing and telehealth

 

Eran Arden, founder, and CEO of RESTORE-Skills will be moderating the discussion. Eran says, “Now that COVID-19 has changed skilled nursing facilities, we at RESTORE Skills are seeing just how transformative our tool is for providing therapy to seniors now more than ever.” 

We’ll also address how RESTORE supports current therapy challenges:

  • Turn every patient room into a therapy gym with just a laptop and a webcam
  • Employees on every level can become a skill-building superstar. 
  • Connect patients to loved ones by inviting them to therapy sessions with the click of a button
  • Keep seniors busy, active and engaged

Register for the webinar this Wednesday, June 3 at 1PM ET. Can’t join us? Register to watch it on demand from our follow up email.

Improving therapy outcomes especially during COVID-19

I want to share with you positive news. On the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19 and under more public scrutiny than ever, I’m seeing nursing home professionals creatively provide therapy and engagement to patients. Patients are reaching therapy goals even in this new season of social distancing and closed therapy gyms.

How?

Our clients are using gaming software in skilled nursing facilities so that all they need is a laptop to get patients engaged in therapy. They’re reaching higher for a slot machine level or standing up and moving side to side by playing games like Jackpot and Skiing.

  • Patients are so busy playing, they forget they’re in therapy
  • Patients are connecting with loved ones back at home, who join the therapy session right there on the app
  • Facility team members on all levels are stepping in to support therapy goals

Imagine Zoom with a Wii. That’s how I’m seeing seniors reach new goals in therapy and even get discharged home where they continue using the software – even during COVID-19. Especially during COVID-19.

RESTORE Skills is the only therapy software available with no device required outside of a laptop. We are the only player in the market that allows users to take a laptop in a room and reach therapy goals. At a time when nursing homes are even more severely understaffed and patients are isolated in their rooms, RESTORE skills turns every team member into a skill-building superstar – from activities directors, to CNAs and nurses. 

It is our goal to give as many seniors access to this transformative tool as possible.

Because across the country, many nursing home patients are missing this opportunity and most likely missing out on crucial therapy sessions while isolated in their rooms. We are offering our software at an unprecedented low price during COVID-19 so that we can help many skilled nursing facilities continue to provide cutting edge therapy even amidst a pandemic.

Let’s change the trajectory of the story of skilled nursing care in the news right now and fill it with stories of positive outcomes. Because anyone familiar with this industry knows the positive outcomes are typical, even if they’re not the story in the news. 

RESTORE Remote: Invite Family to Join LIVE Therapy Sessions

Introducing RESTORE Remote: A better way to virtually connect to patients

Introducing RESTORE Remote: A better way to virtually connect to patients

When we launched RESTORE Skills, never did we imagine that therapy gyms would close for months at a time and skilled nursing facility patients would be isolated in their rooms. Now that COVID-19 has made this a reality, with no foreseeable end in sight, we at RESTORE Skills are seeing just how transformative our tool is for providing therapy to seniors now more than ever. 

  • Clients are using our gamified software to turn every patient room into a therapy gym
  • RESTORE Remote offers the ability to invite family members to virtually join therapy sessions with the click of a button

New communication tool in our technology

When we saw our clients setting up Zoom calls for residents and families, we quickly developed a new communication tool for our software. RESTORE Remote allows patients and therapists to invite family members to join therapy sessions right there within the games. 

RESTORE Remote is helping skilled nursing patients connect with loved ones in a powerful new way. Videoconferences with seniors can be challenging for those who struggle with new technology, but RESTORE Remote is a therapy tool seniors and therapists already know how to use. The communication tool also allows families to connect with loved ones in cognitive and speech therapy in a meaningful way.

We developed RESTORE Skills as a skill-building tool for therapy gyms, where patients can show off their new skills, compete in therapy games against one another and cheer each other on. Each player can work on their own set of skills, within their personal range of motion, but the games themselves offer a sense of competition where patients celebrate and strive to outperform one another. Users only need our software and a webcam to use RESTORE Skills anywhere, so it has always been a significant bonus that patients can continue building therapy skills on their own at home.

Now with RESTORE Remote, the audience patients enjoyed in the therapy gyms is back. Only this time, the audience is made up of loved ones.

Turns out we started getting RESTORE Skills into long term care facilities just in time. 

Our tool supports challenges facilities are facing right now. 

  • Skilled nursing facilities are struggling with staff shortages
  • Patients no longer have visitors 
  • Activity directors have limited options for keeping seniors social and engaged
  • Therapists are having to provide therapy within patient rooms
  • Skilled nursing staff are now also the IT experts, connecting residents with families over video conferences.

We at RESTORE Skills are helping SNFs meet all of these challenges. We’re working harder than ever to get RESTORE Skills into as many skilled nursing facilities as possible. Therapy and positive outcomes for our seniors in these facilities depend on it.

 

Click here to schedule a demo and find out how RESTORE-Skills can help your facility meet therapy needs during COVID-19.

 

National Nurses Day

Celebrating Nurses by Improving Patient Outcomes

On this day and every day, all of us at RESTORE-Skills honor nurses as the healthcare heroes that they are. I see firsthand in our work with senior care facilities the demands placed on nurses. They are always on the frontlines of every patients’ battle for the best outcome possible. Perhaps during no time since World War II has this been more apparent than in the middle of our current global pandemic of COVID-19. 

This National Nurses Day my team and I are celebrating long term care nurses by improving therapy outcomes for their patients.

I’ve seen firsthand that nurses in skilled nursing facilities are among the most dedicated in the field. They get to know patients in senior care facilities over a length of time and many consider the residents like family. It takes a special soul to nurse a patient back to health at a time when there are so many compounding issues that come with aging. Sometimes the job of the nurse is to simply hold a patients’ hands and provide comfort.

 

Other times, it’s the job of long term care nurses to motivate their patients to get up and get moving for therapy. While they are not the therapy providers, nurses and their assistants are key players in ensuring that patients are ready and in the best mindset possible for therapy sessions.

What if we made that part of nurses’ jobs a lot easier? And in the process, we improved the outcomes for patients these nurses have come to love?

My team and I are doing just that with RESTORE-Skills. Here’s how I am seeing our skilled nursing facility clients benefit from our therapy software tool:

  • Our award-winning gamification technology makes therapy fun and engaging so that patients actually ask to play. 
  • Skilled nursing patients are actually playing therapy games right in their rooms during COVID-19 while therapy gyms are closed.
  • Every team member of skilled nursing facilities becomes a therapy skill building superstar with just a laptop and webcam.
  • Patients are staying busy, active and engaged while reaching therapy goals, breaking up these long days isolated in their rooms while eating meals by the door.

 

This National Nurses Day, we’re honoring these healthcare heroes by working to advance their quiet daily goal of improving each patient’s outcome. I believe in the power of this software to create positive therapy outcomes on a massive scale because we see it happen in our clients’ facilities every day. The time is now to give nurses and all dedicated employees in skilled nursing facilities a game-changing tool in their arsenal.

 

We want to get RESTORE Skills in the hands of every long term care facility possible. Click here to learn about our COVID-19 special offer.

 

Skilled Nursing News

An Interview with Skilled Nursing News

We're thrilled to be featured on Skilled Nursing News today. Aaryn Crosby of Adaptive Rehab Services and our CEO, Eran Arden sat down with Skilled Nursing News to discuss the impact of RESTORE-Skills on therapy services and the unforeseen benefits in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, is an excerpt from the article:

By “gamifying” therapy via a hardware-agnostic platform, some providers are finding not only much greater engagement among patients and residents receiving therapy, but also the unforeseen benefit of engaging non-therapy residents and their family members under social distancing protocols set under the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Driving therapy engagement 

As a third-party therapy provider in multiple settings including post-acute and long-term care facilities, Adaptive Rehabilitation Services set out in 2019 to find a platform that would improve patient participation and garner more engagement in therapy as well as to measure functional skills and progress. Further, Adaptive wanted a solution that did not require a hardware purchase to host the platform. 

“There are a lot of products that require the user to have [a specific] device,” says Aaryn Crosby, Chief Operating Officer at Middleburg Heights, Ohio-based Adaptive Rehabilitation Services. “We were looking for something that can work on multiple systems and computers… something that could deliver functional room treatments. Many patients may not be able to come down or are nervous to come down to the gym.”

The company implemented RESTORE Skills in early 2020 and saw measured success in engagement. The platform, which can run on any web-enabled laptop with a display and a camera, provides a series of goal-oriented games that merge therapy with fun tasks that can be played with a single player or multiple players engaged on a single screen. 

With games to present to residents and patients, therapy teams soon reported that those not previously participating were increasingly using the platform and we're seeing increased functional outcomes. They were practicing more and were resisting less, which led to improved progress overall. 

“Having a truly fun and interactive therapy session versus a standard therapeutic exercise has increased engagement and mental well being by allowing patients to perform together and compete,” Crosby says. 

An unforeseen benefit: the platform serves as an activity for non-therapy residents as well. 

“We have had activity aides asking for us to train them on the program; residents’ roommates are telling them they want to try it out too,” he says.

Click here to read the full article. Interested in seeing gamification in action? Contact our team to schedule a demo and to learn how gamification can drive engagement and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic.