Q&A: Get to know Clinical Success Director, Jim Marlowe, COTA/L

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

  • As a therapist, I have always been passionate about providing the best possible experience for my patients. In my time spent in other roles such as business development, admissions, and management, I always had a focus on customer service and problem-solving. I joined the RESTORE-Skills Customer Success team because I know the best way to help serve the elders in our communities is to ensure that our partners have the knowledge and training to maximize our platform. I would have loved to have RESTORE as a therapist and am now in a role where I can make that a reality for others.

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

  • My father. I grew up in a family auction business so I dealt with the public from a young age. He always taught me to treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO. How important relationships and connections are in life.

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

  • We love to thrift and run a part-time reselling business. I also love to attend my sons’ games. My youngest (Landon) plays basketball, my middle son (Kameron) plays soccer and Esports, and my oldest (Nathan) is killing it in the Esports circuit. He started the program at his school.

If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be? 

  • Home repairs. I am the classic Youtube repairman. I know just enough to be dangerous.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? 

  • I am a state-licensed auctioneer (yes I can talk fast).

What led you to this career path?

  • It's really been a combination of my life experiences. I spent 10+ years in sales prior to going back to school to get my COTA license. I have always loved people and now I get to work on a product that directly benefits those same patients I treated in therapy.

What’s one song artist you are embarrassed to admit you like?

  • I don’t really get embarrassed by artists. My playlist has anything from George Jones to Tupac. 

What’s one totally irrational fear you have?

  • Climbing ladders. I hate it. 

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

  • I have always been a cat person but do like dogs. Our greyhound Chase helped to convert me. 

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

  • I spent the last year and a half in a nursing facility and got to see how COVID affects residents firsthand. The isolation and uncertainty they experienced really opens your eyes to what's important. Family and good friends make all the difference.
Grocery Grab

New Game: Grocery Grab

The RESTORE-Skills market is open!

Now your patients and residents can practice food shopping with our newest game, Grocery Grab while improving their motor, cognitive, and communication skills. Talk about the perfect recipe for life readiness & cognitive skill-building.

Game Icon for new game Grocery Grab"

Use the grocery item list to begin your shopping experience in our market. Move your controller over the desired stands (Dairy, Produce, Bakery, etc.) in order to see the stocked shelves and locate your items. Hover over the item to pick it up and place it in your cart. After you've collected all items, head to the Checkout. Place your items on the counter to ring them up, then place them in the cart to bag. Finally, players will pay by selecting the most appropriate dollar amount from the options provided.

Players will have a great time putting the FUN in function while improving their motor, cognitive, and communication skills:

  • Life Skills: Money management, shopping, community reintegration
  • Cognitive Skills: Attention, concentration, memory, problem-solving, decision-making
  • Motor Skills: Visual scanning, eye-hand coordination, range of motion, and activity tolerance

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

neuro rehab

Q&A: Neuro-Rehab

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

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

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

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

neuro rehab

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

Q&A: Player Dignity

Question: 

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

 

Answer: 

Thank you for the feedback and important question. 

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

 

RESTORE Player Testimonial

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

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

 

 

Get Your Game on with Grandma

How video games can strengthen the relationships seniors value most

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

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

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

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

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

Tournament gaming enhances social connections and fosters a sense of community

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

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

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

Unless you’re talking about video games. 

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

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

This patient is one of many.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Video games create generational connection while providing crucial therapy

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

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

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

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

 

Making therapy fun with video games leads to better outcomes

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

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

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

Making video gaming accessible for seniors

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

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

Access to virtual communities of friends and peers

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

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

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

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

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

 

In-room player

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

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

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

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

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

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

bingo

“Let It Snow Bingo” is LIVE!

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

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

Let It Snow Bingo

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

 

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

Let it Snow BINGO
Let it Snow BINGO

Clinical Benefits of Let it Snow Bingo:

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

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

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.

Home Safety Scenarios

New “Safely Home” Game Supports Hazard Awareness

After several requests from therapists, we are so excited to launch our newest game designed to help players identify and resolve hazardous scenarios in & around their homes. "Safely Home" allows players to interact with different areas of the home in order to identify and reduce a variety of hazard risks in a fun, engaging, and meaningful way. 

Home SafetySafely Home 

Players work to recognize safety hazards they may encounter inside or outside of home. To play, move the controller to the hazard to activate solution options. Choose the best solution to resolve the safety hazard, until all hazards in the room are corrected. The player will use attention/concentration, safety recognition, problem-solving, judgment, and decision making skills to manage the hazards in the household.  The game addresses balance, activity tolerance/endurance and can be played seated, standing.

 

Home Safety

Adapting one’s home to accommodate the needs of seniors is vital for independence, happiness, and longevity. Therapists can launch "Safley Home" as a means to engage in important conversations with their patients, while players build upon the critical skills needed for a safe discharge. 

We love hearing from you!

We were built by therapists for therapists. In fact, our most popular game "Jackpot" was suggested to us by an OT in Colorado. Be sure to share your thoughts on the game "Safely Home", including any suggestions you have for additions to the game.

Our team is always looking to improve our existing games & create new ones to address the skills you target in your sessions. So, please don't be shy! Send your tips, fixes, or ideas to info@restoreskills.com!


Follow RESTOREskills on Facebook & LinkedIn for updates on our platform, new game announcements, testimonials, tips, and much much more! To schedule an obligation free demonstration of our on-demand therapy platform with our team, please contact us at info@restoreskills.com or call (330) 968-2879. We look forward to supporting your goals!

 

New “Stop the Spread” Game Promotes Awareness of Healthy Practices

Businesses, healthcare centers, and concerned individuals everywhere are looking for resources which reinforce the use of proper hand-washing & other health practices in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

In an effort to help promote awareness for patients & residents, we’ve launched a new game designed to educate in a fun, engaging, and non-threatening manner. "Stop the Spread" combines essential health education with cognitive skill-building for attention, concentration, memory, problem-solving, & safety awareness!

Stop the SpreadStop the Spread

In this game, players work to identify and match the health tip on each card. Move the controller over the cards to flip over and reveal the healthy practice on the card. Test your memory by finding all of the matches as fast as you can!  Therapists & Care Partners can change from the memory to matching setting to directly match a card to the image in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. A wonderful game to target recall, scanning, problem-solving, functional reach, and crossing the midline.

Stop the Spread

 

Play anytime, anywhere! 

With 90% of therapy treatment sessions being delivered in resident rooms, now is the time to take advantage of RESTORE's portability.

Team members can simply bring their laptops to the resident's room to address functional skills and review best health practices by playing Stop the Spread. Use the games cards as prompts for conversation to help with health education. 

  • Tip: Devices can be used on a bedside table or stand to accommodate patients whether they’re lying in bed, sitting on the edge of the bed, sitting in a chair, or standing. 

Be sure to follow our blog for more tips & examples of how you can set up a meaningful skill-building session right in the resident’s room! 


Follow RESTOREskills on Facebook & LinkedIn for updates on our platform, new game announcements, testimonials, tips, and much much more! To schedule an obligation free demonstration of our on-demand therapy platform with our team, please contact us at info@restoreskills.com or call (330) 968-2879. We look forward to supporting your goals!

in room therapy

Keep Patients Active with an In-Room Session! 💪👟📈

Our customers are reporting 90% of therapy treatment sessions are now being delivered in patients’ rooms. A major shift from 95% of therapy sessions occurring in the gym prior to the pandemic. Now is the time to enhance your own devices! Take advantage of RESTORE’s portability to keep residents active, happy, and healthy in their rooms.

Take advantage of RESTORE portability, engagement, and FUN

  • Laptops/Tablets access RESTORE through internet connection and webcam
  • Follow center guidelines for cleaning if planning to remove from the room once brought in - but consider dedicating a device to an isolation room for the duration of isolation precautions
  • Using RESTORE on one device does not limit simultaneous use of RESTORE on other devices

Build Skills Anytime, Anywhere!

RESTORE offers a full skill-building platform to address mobility, range of motion, coordination, cognition, activity tolerance, life-skill readiness, & much more!

Therapists can simply bring their laptops to the patient room to stay on track with a treatment plan, address functional skills, & teleconference patients’ families for encouragement and education. Devices can be used on a bedside table or stand to accommodate patients whether they’re lying in bed, sitting on the edge of the bed, sitting in a chair, or standing.   

 

The RESTORE Difference

RESTORE games/activities promote player engagement and are a great distraction from environmental barriers and psychosocial factors (such as discomfort, loneliness, anxiety, etc.) Therapists can simply bring their laptops to the patient room to stay on track with a treatment plan, address functional skills, & teleconference patients’ families for encouragement and education. "We had a flu lock down, so people could not come to the gym. We were stuck doing in-room treatments & residents were very bored. RESTORE was an incredible tool for us to have for in-room treatments!" - Elisabeth Gardner, DOR at Elmhurst Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center 

 

Be sure to follow our blog for more tips & examples of how you can set up a meaningful skill-building session right in your patient’s room! 


Follow  RESTOREskills on Facebook & LinkedIn for updates on our platform, new game announcements, testimonials, tips, and much much more! To schedule an obligation free demonstration of our on-demand therapy platform with our team, please contact us at info@restoreskills.com or call (330) 968-2879. We look forward to supporting your goals!