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!

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! 

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!

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!

abc7 San Francisco

NEWS: RESTORE-Skills featured on ABC7 San Francisco

Below is an excerpt from the story from ABC7 News San Francisco:

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Health is an important aspect of Building a Better Bay Area.

As patients at care facilities are dealing with prolonged social isolation with visits from families curtailed or not allowed, caregivers are turning to multi-player skill games to improve patient outcomes.

Bingo has always been a popular way to engage patients in care facilities to use their minds, hands, and arms. COVID-19 has not only stopped that, but also visits from loved ones.
"If we don't have friends and peers to work with, then you know, then we, unfortunately, don't have the motivation to practice and to live longer," said Eran Arden, CEO at Restore Skills. RESTORE-Skills is a cloud-based platform with a library of 50 games that occupational therapists can use for rehabilitation and skills development.
51-year-old Mike Willham has multiple sclerosis. Moving a ball in his hand to play a slot machine game is more than just having fun at winning jackpots. "It allows me to move my left arm from side to side and up and down. And it has built up strength in the left arm," said Willham as he made those moves. An up and down motion with the ball caused the arm on the slot machine to activate."
It's helping with cognition, it helps with fine motor, gross motor coordination, strengthening," said Carrie Blum, an occupational therapy assistant at The Heights Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center. "It's been helping with their endurance and activity tolerance."

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

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
    WBOC Good Day Delmarva

    NEWS: RESTORE-Skills featured on WBOC’s Good Day Delmarva

    Below is an excerpt from the story from Good Day Delmarva

    For today's Wellness Wednesday, Sydney speaks with Joe Asseline with the Westgate Hills Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center to learn about the steps they're taking to provide contact-less care during the ongoing pandemic. 

    Today with the help of Westgate Hills Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Baltimore, Maryland we discover ways in which they're reaching goals with a contactless approach.

    Joe: I've been working at Westgate Hills Rehab for the past year and a half. My goal is to help patient's restore their function & independence through actiticties of daily living and self-care tasks. 

    Sydney: How are have you noticing that certain facilities or even yours are turning to technology to help folks get the therapy and attention that they need? 

    Joe: In my sesssion, I find it's very important to use video chat...we've also been able to use this really cool RESTORE virtual reality game system. RESTORE is a syetm that we are able to bring therapeutic activties and excercises into the rooms of patients. Not only that, there's a new feature that they've just rolled out that we're able to video chat in with the families so they can add words of encouragement. It's really cool! I find that they're always asking to use it because they think the games are really fun, 

    Check it out the full interview with Joe Asselin, OTR/L HERE!

    gamification

    Take your therapy to the next level with gamification

    What is gamification and how does it work?

    If you measure your daily step count or try to improve your LinkedIn profile strength to get a star, your behavior is already influenced by gamification. 

    Gamification is why Peloton has been able to build a community of loyal cyclists around its product, while every other kind of exercise bike has been gathering dust in people’s basements since the 80s.

    Gamification simply means adding game mechanics into nongame environments, like during fitness or in the workplace. The goal of gamification is to engage with consumers, employees, and partners to inspire, collaborate, share and interact. (BIworldwide) It can be digital but is not necessarily limited to digital technology.

    Outside of the digital space, gamification is the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (such as a task) so as to encourage participation. (Merriam-Webster)

    Digitally, the rules and rewards will appear as points, levels, missions, leaderboards, badges, and progress. Users progress by getting immediate feedback on accomplishments.

     

    Examples of gamification may include:

    • Competition through leaderboards
    • Collaboration by completing team missions
    • A sense of community by seeing other participants on a news feed
    • Collecting badges and unlocking new missions. 

    Gamification works to motivate and engage us because it makes activities more entertaining so that we reach our goals. It leverages some of the following natural traits

    • Curiosity
    • Desire for status or accomplishment
    • Competitiveness and achievement
    • Need for community and belonging

     

    Together, these game dynamics combined with game mechanics foster engagement and motivate participants.

    gamification

    How is gamification used in therapy?

    We know how hard it can be to motivate people to work out, and with therapy, we’re asking patients to do this with a whole range of other complications. This is why gamification in therapy can be so powerful. 

     

    Here’s what gamification does for therapy

    Therapists can design therapy sessions to trigger physical and cognitive-behavioral patterns required for treatment and neurological recovery. Improving game knowledge among therapists and improving communication between therapists and game designers may lead to a novel avenue in designing applied games with specific therapeutic input, thereby making gamification in therapy a realistic and promising future that may optimize clinical practice. (Pediatric PT journal in 2017)

    No doubt gamified apps, devices and therapies will gradually appear in every field of healthcare making behavior change easier and more fun. 

     

    Examples of using digital gamification in healthcare

    Digital gamification in the healthcare space is still new, although it’s been widely adopted across healthy lifestyle brands. About one-in-five Americans use a smartwatch or fitness tracker, according to Pew Research

     

    In healthcare facilities and therapies, digital gamification is catching on. 

    • Wii Fit: In recent years, skilled nursing facilities have brought gaming technology like the Wii Fit into activity rooms to keep patients active and engaged. This has no doubt entertained residents, but the Wii Fit is nonetheless limited to a specific level of balance and fitness, and it doesn’t concentrate on specific therapy goals that help a skilled nursing patient return home. 
    • FDA approved video game for ADHD: Just this year and for the first time ever, the FDA approved a video game as part of a treatment for children diagnosed with ADHD.
    • The game, called EndeavorRx, is for kids aged eight through 12 to improve attention function.
    • Distraction therapy for pain management: Researchers report virtual reality is proving to be effective in reducing anxiety and acute pain caused by painful medical procedures and could be useful for treating chronic pain.
    • Johns Hopkins: Physical medicine and rehabilitation therapists have incorporated neurogaming technology into rehabilitation at The Johns Hopkins Hospital to engage patients in the typically mundane exercises that build strength after an illness or injury. The first group of patients to try it out were recovering from COVID-19.
    • Researchers at the University of East Anglia in England pioneered a virtual reality (VR) gaming rehabilitation solution for stroke survivors suffering from complex neurological syndromes.

    Sea Hero Quest (made by Telekom) is "the first mobile game where anyone can help scientists fight dementia"

    Clinical benefits of gamification in therapy

    A study in Psychology Today from Peter Gray, PhD lineates the benefits of gaming on cognitive abilities. “Overall, strong positive relationships between amount of time gaming and high scores on tests of perception, top-down attention, spatial cognition, multitasking, and cognitive flexibility. Their analysis of the intervention data indicated that even just 10 to 30 hours of video play, over the duration of an experiment, significantly improved performance on tests of perception, attention, spatial cognition, and cognitive flexibility.” This study shows that gaming had emotional, social and motivational benefits as well.

     

    Less refusals and more compliance:
    One of the challenges physical therapists encounter are patients who refuse to comply with therapy. This can be for valid reasons, but by making therapy more engaging and interesting, patients are more willing to move beyond excuses. Gamification increases compliance and reduces refusals by empowering patients

    Easy to customize:
    Digital games for therapy can be customized to each user, based on their interests and abilities. With a variety of game options, therapists can easily apply a person-centered approach to each therapy session. Players can choose a game based on their interests, preferences, habits, tendencies, work history, family history and more. Plus, as users progress in the skill area they are working on, the therapy can easily be adjusted to accommodate them. Digital gamification provides more sophisticated capabilities to measure patients’ range of motion and helps therapists offer better assessments of patients.

    Promotes daily practice of therapy exercises:
    Gamification motivates patients to complete exercises even when they are not supervised by their physical therapists. This is because patients’ exercise routines can be set with a cloud-based dashboard. Games can be both fun and personalized and include 3D sensors to monitor performance.

    Provides feedback and is data driven:
    Patients who see progress in therapy are more willing to work hard. Gamification includes tracking so that patients can visually determine how far along they’ve come and what they still want to achieve. Any potential problems can be quickly detected by the physical therapist. The results have shown a significant increase in patient compliance with home-based exercise routines.

    Continuity of care:
    Digital gamification is consistent each time and easy to monitor. This makes it easier to support therapy sessions from multiple therapists on staff. 

     

    Business benefits of gamification

    Following are three business benefits of gamification for those early adopters of this digital technology. 

     

    Increase employee engagement and retention

    Employees who are helping patients stay more engaged and interested in therapy will end up being more engaged as well. This changes the way therapists deliver services to patients. Therapists will work together in collaboration more when their patients are competing against one another, and therapy results are driven by data. And when therapists achieve more success with their patients, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated and stay in their jobs. This supports employee engagement and reduces employee turnover.

    Improve reputation

    Companies that are more successfully engaging both therapist and patients in their care will have more positive outcomes, happier employees and patients and a stronger reputation. Overall satisfaction and referrals will increase, along with better clinical outcomes.

    Reducing readmissions

    Patients who are more engaged with therapy are more likely to continue with therapy exercises at home. Additionally, digital gamification technology can often be used at home upon discharge as well. Family members can join the sessions, either as participants as well or remotely as cheerleaders. This means faster recovery, continued improvement and reduced readmission rates from injury or falls. 

    gamification in therapy

    Why it’s been slow to be adopted

    Before having to accept sheltering in place, RESTORE’s Ian Oppel, chief clinical officer and an occupational therapist traveled around to hundreds of care locations in all settings. He says, “What I learned is that patients love their therapists and that the therapy profession is as valued today as it was when I started practicing 25 years ago. I also discovered that therapy services are being provided today in essentially the same way they were 25 years ago, albeit with fewer smiles and laughter. Treatment sessions predominantly took place in the therapy gym, treatment approaches are largely contrived (versus functional and person-centered), and the requirements for documentation and time management make sustained patient engagement a real challenge.”

    COVID-19 is forcing therapists to adopt changes that were long overdue. The therapy gym should be a treatment environment exclusive to those patients needing to access equipment that can only be housed in the gym and scheduled accordingly. 

    Oppel says, “Therapists need portable, easily accessible, and versatile treatment approaches that can be delivered point of care and documented point of service. 

    Therapy sessions must be meaningful, engaging, and fun to accelerate outcomes and promote wellness as part of a healthy, active lifestyle change that continues after discharge from care.  Ideally, we want to find ways to teleconference family members and friends during treatment sessions so they can provide encouragement while receiving education and peace of mind.”

     

    Gamification key to a motivational therapy program in 2020 

    “Gamified services engage us, keep us motivated and help us down the bumpy road of change. It’s the combination of a great buddy and a considerate parent. That’s why I believe gamified solutions will spread like epidemics in healthcare as well.” (Medical Futurist in July 2017).

    Now in 2020 gamification must spread WITH the epidemic as an antidote to our present therapy challenges.

    Skilled nursing therapy today looks fundamentally different than it did one year ago. First came changes to the reimbursement system to PDPM, taking the focus away from therapy minutes to instead focus on achieving therapy outcomes. Facilities began running groups and concurrent therapy sessions, suggesting that the group setting would be like a workout group class, where everyone motivates one another. 

    Then, of course, with COVID-19, therapy changed in ways previously unimaginable, where patients were largely confined to their rooms and therapists were limited to their own imagination and the equipment they could easily transport and sanitize.

    RESTORE Skills therapy gaming platform supports both new models, offering therapists and their patients an engaging, effective and easy to use tool in any setting. 

    RESTORE Skills is positioned now to be even more effective. Patients who can no longer interact as easily with other residents can be instead motivated by points, badges and trophies. In an otherwise isolating environment, RESTORE’s game mechanics now support participants’ engagement by providing them with next steps and feedback on their accomplishments as they play.

    What was already an engaging therapy solution just reached a new powerful level as players become internally motivated to achieve a higher score or reach a new level.

     

    Turn every room into a therapy gym

    In this time when patients are confined to their rooms, RESTORE Skills supports fun, movement and activity even in a limited physical space. RESTORE is as portable as a laptop computer with a webcam. Therapists can easily transport laptops to each patient room to run a successful therapy session. And patients can continue to log in to their account and play therapy games once they return home. RESTORE Skills makes rehabilitation more fun, stretching patients’ abilities playfully and diverting their attention away from discomfort.

     

    Data-driven digital gamification promotes consistency in therapy

    Gamification promotes consistency in therapy, which is crucial during any time, but even more so during COVID-19 when facilities struggle with understaffing. Residents can now easily see where they left off the last time they were in therapy and then jump right back into it to continue aiming for the next level or badge. Therapists on different shifts can pick up with every patient right where their colleagues left off.

     

    Gamification is affordable

    While gaming systems can be expensive, therapists with a smaller budget can still tap the trend of providing more engaging, personalized care with RESTORE. 

     

    Increase transparency with digital gamification 

    At a time when guests are unable to visit skilled nursing centers, the onus is on every facility to set up care video calls and keep families connected. Instead of scheduling a typical video chat, it’s just as easy, and more meaningful to connect family members to a therapy session that is happening on a digital gamification platform. Family members can cheer along their loved one, witness the value of the care the patient is receiving and be able to support continuity of care once the patient returns home.

    While digital gamification may now still be only in its infancy of adaptation in the healthcare field, there is no doubt that it is here to stay. The move toward more transparency, personalization, engagement and motivation was necessary before the COVID-19. The epidemic has exasperated the urgent need for better therapy. Those therapists who adapt to the digital gamification trend earliest will be the most set to succeed in the future of skilled nursing therapy.