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! 

We RESTORE-Skills TOGETHER

Q&A: RESTORE-Together

Question: 

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

Answer:

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

Benefits:

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

Live games:

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

Private games: 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

eCap Summit 2020: The ReCap!

Every conference feels like a marathon, and eCap Summit 2020 was no exception! The RESTORE team had a fantastic time networking, connecting with operators, and showcasing our cutting-edge platform to industry leaders. As our Founder & CEO, Eran Arden said of this year’s energetic and impactful event, “we met more potential partners and clients in two days than in the past six months combined! What an amazing experience! Thank you, Hersch Krohner, Joe Stefansky, Norman Rokeach, and Barry Munk for making this happen.” 

Friendly Competition

It was exciting to bring the fun and energy of the RESTORE experience to eCap this year! It was awesome to see operators and leaders enjoying the next-generation patient experience as much as our players do every day in our partner centers. eCap goers enjoyed an amped-up version of our game Ski Saga complete with a Miami theme & increased difficulty for our participants as they competed to be on the top of the leaderboard. 🌴 We also hosted a raffle for those who participated in the ski challenge and were able to give one lucky winner a 2-night ski trip in Vermont. Most noteworthy was seeing so many attendees have fun and push themselves to try an innovative tool!

Emerging Technologies Startup Tank

One final stand out moment from eCap was the Emerging Technologies Startup Tank competition. Organized by the Israel-American Aging Technology Association Founder Eran Arden & eCap leaders, the startup tank offered a great opportunity to all who participated. “With RESTORE, it took me a year in the U.S. to understand what I didn’t know and how different the market is here.” For that reason, Eran told the audience, “I founded IAATA to help Israeli startup leaders shortcut their learning curve.”

The competition had three leaders from innovative Israel startups participate in the pitch: Keren Etkin (Clanz), Iftach Cohen (Zero Energy), and our own Eran Arden (RESTORE-Skills). Weighing in with questions, tips, and expertise were the four amazing “sharks”! Big thanks to Barry Munk (Marquis Health Services), Vincent Fedele (Zimmet Healthcare Services Group), Ben Shibe (Cascade Capital), and Seth Gribetz (Walnut Court Capital). Each participant showcased an exciting technology and walked away, thankful for the invaluable insights into the industry and American market given by the judges. 

Another incredible event put on by the eCap Summit this year! The hosts created a great atmosphere for networking and hard work, along with entertainment and the chance to enjoy games, meals, and presentations.


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!

spread the restore love

Spread the RESTORE Love!

We love bringing you seasonal versions of your favorite games to help boost patient experience! This month, we have two Valentine’s themed games Slots of Love and Cupid’s Arrow. Therapists, Care Partners, and players will fall head-over-heels for these fun and vibrant activities! 

icon for Slots of Love gameSlots of Love

We know players love the virtual slot machine, making it a favorite game year-round. In the themed-game Slots of Love, players will pull the lever to collect three (3) matching Valentine’s items! A perfect activity for patients working on activity tolerance or UE range of motion. When asked why it was their favorite, one player said, "I have to really concentrate on it. It makes me change hands too. It's a great, fun game. I love it!" Reminder: If a player pulls a rare "Triple WILD" jackpot, let us know, and we'll send them a special gift! 

 

Cupid’s Arrowicon for Cupid's Arrow game

Help Cupid make a love connection by playing our Valentine’s game Cupid’s Arrow. Using your controller with one hand (small controller) or both hands (larger controller), focus Cupid’s bow on a couple to strike them with love! 💗 Make sure to aim for the center of the couple to release the arrow. A great game for those players working on reaching, crossing the midline,  or targeting balance.

Slots of Love winner

Looking for new ways to engage your residents this Valentine’s Day?! Here are a few tips for your next event: 
  • Make use of the abundance of red decorations hanging around your center and use a paper heart or another fun item as a controller during a special Love Day session.  If the player is wearing red, however, be sure to use contrasting colors to play! 
  • Set up a special partnered session of Cupid’s Arrow and have them work together to strike the couples on screen with an arrow. 
  • Organize a Valentine's-themed competition to see who can get the highest score in Slots of Love during a group therapy session.
  • Award your top players or group therapy participants with candy, flowers, or homemade cards! 

We can’t wait to see all the ways you use these games to boost the patient experience and get them moving (and loving it!)  


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!

 

Thankful for more RESTORE!

Beans, greens, potatoes, stuffing, pie…yum! We can’t wait to eat & celebrate with our families next week. Luckily, your players can start their festivities early with these Thanksgiving-themed games! Have fun with the following activities while you reminisce with your patients and families about their favorite holiday stories. They’ll be grateful you did!


Turkey Hunt 

What’s Thanksgiving without the turkey?! In this game, players aim the target at a turkey & dwell on shooting. After playing, a patient said, “I like that it makes you competitive with yourself, and it’s fun to compete with the other patients. I love it! It exercised my arms and mind while having fun!” Launch this game to work on bilateral coordination, accuracy, and range of motion. After all this turkey, you might need a nap!

Fall Feast

It’s time to set the table for your big family dinner! Control the pilgrim by moving side to side to catch the fall feast items shown (listed from bottom to top) while avoiding the incorrect items. When playing this game, a speech therapist in the Marquis network said: “This is great for working memory!” You’ll have your plate full with options, like playing with a controller attached to the hand, head, chest, or finger. Be sure to adjust the range of motion based on the amount of movement desired for your player.


Throwing a Thanksgiving meal for your residents and looking to add some fun?!  These games will have them laughing, reminiscing, and returning for seconds. Log in today to satisfy your appetite! 🍽🦃

Follow  RESTOREskills on Facebook & LinkedIn for updates on our platform, new game announcements, testimonials, tips, and much much more! To have your story featured on our blog, please contact our social media manager via email amanda@restoreskills.com or call (330) 968-2879. We look forward to supporting your goals

fun group therapy

Can You Participate in 2 Group Sessions at the Same Time?

To wrap up this series of posts, I’m happy to share one more joyful moment from my trip to our MA facilities last month. If you have yet to read my other posts about great customer experiences, you can find them here, but now I am thrilled to share a fun group therapy story with you.

Meeting Diane

This time, we’re back to Cedar View Rehab! On this day, the therapy team had every patient participate in some epic group play. Here I met Diane, RESTORE’s #1 fan, who blew me away when she participated in two group sessions back-to-back! It was truly a delight to see her so eager to engage.

For their group session, the therapists split people into two playing groups. Each station was set up to play Ski Saga where players worked on weight shifting, trunk rotation, squatting, strengthening, and standing tolerance. It was great to see the variety of exercises and controllers used to enhance the session. The whole room was full of excitement players took turns “skiing” to reach their therapy goals.

The RESTORE Difference

In her first session, Diane used a dowel rod to work on standing trunk rotation and upper extremity strengthening. Still energized after soaring through her first session, she joined my group where she practiced weight-shifting, squatting, and balance. Even when a therapist told Diane, “you can take a break and sit down if you’d like” she continued to play, pushing herself to complete each task. 

When she finally agreed to take a break, I showed Diane her playing time.  The smile on her face was undeniable when she realized she played for over 20 minutes! “I feel great,” she said, “I was having so much fun, I didn’t even realize I was playing so long!” The room buzzed with happiness from the fun and everyone seemed to have a better day because of it.

Do you have any fun stories from a RESTORE group play session? Tell me about it by sending an email with your story and a few of your favorite pictures. We can’t wait to share the smiles from all our users! 

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!

 

Meet Your Group & Concurrent Therapy Goals

We want to help you reach your group and concurrent therapy goals in an exciting and engaging way. Add fun to your center, encourage residents to move more, and build community with our new group play feature. In this post, we'll discuss group play and learn how centers are incorporating games into their group practice. Then, we'll review tips to help you and your team get started!

The RESTORE Difference

The Group Play feature helps with the PDPM requirements for group and concurrent therapy. The portability of the platform eliminates environmental limitations to promote enjoyable and engaging group therapy opportunities. For instance, you can create practice opportunities by setting up several stations or engaging multiple players on different devices simultaneously.

Our users love to engage with the group play setting. In fact, at a team training in a Massachusetts center we saw the power of gamification during simultaneous group sessions. To start, the therapists split people into two groups and set up each station was to play Ski Saga. Then, players worked on weight shifting, trunk rotation, squatting, strengthening, and standing tolerance. It was great to see the variety of exercises and controllers used to enhance the session! The whole room was full of excitement as players took turns "skiing" to reach their therapy goals.

Together is Fun

Our fun, innovative, and engaging therapeutic activities bring a vibrant boost to your therapy gym. Playing games in a group session can facilitate conversation among players as they discuss their hobbies, memories, or traditions. Players enjoy playing together as a team, in large groups by taking turns, or even tournament style to create some excitement and light-hearted competition.

Centers can also enjoy Group Play when playing as part of a community event in the activity department or elsewhere. For instance, the team can create a "pet therapy" day at the center and incorporate RESTORE animal-themed games as one station, along with stations for making dog biscuits, playing fetch with a therapy retriever, and setting up a pet show.

We hope these tips spark your imagination and encourage you to step out of the box for your next therapy session or group activity. Do you have any fun stories from a RESTORE group play session? Tell me about it by sending your account and a few of your favorite pictures to amanda@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!