Johanna Salomon, Regional Dir of Business Development

Q&A: Meet RESTORE Regional Director of Business Development, Johanna Salomon

Hey Johanna. Thanks for agreeing to this Q&A, which helps our users learn about the RESTORE team. Let's go!

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

A: I am a Director of Business Development at RESTORE.  You can come to me with any questions about RESTORE, the myriad of ways a facility can benefit from its use, or if you’re interested in bringing RESTORE into your facilities.

Q: What led you to this career path?

A: I had a number of opportunities presented to me, but none that made me feel real excitement.  When I looked at the RESTORE product I immediately thought of 5 things about it that were incredible and felt genuine enthusiasm for the opportunity and what I could do with it. 

Q: How do you prefer to start and end your day?

A: With a lot of coffee, and a list.  As soon as it’s “go-time” for my day, I open my notebook to review my notes from the day prior, then I flip to a fresh sheet of paper to start my new to-do list.  I include calls & tasks, then leave my book open so I can add to it throughout the day.

Snow White Coffee GIF

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

A: I am an avid gardener.  When the weather is warm, there is always something blooming in my yard.  I’m deep enough into it that I order special varieties of roses online because I need more variety than what the garden centers can offer. 

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

A: Sushi or tacos.

Hungry Late Night GIF by Taco Bell

Q: What's one song/artist you are embarrassed to admit you like?

A: I dressed up as a Spice Girl for Halloween, so I am impossible to embarrass.

mood wink GIF by Spice Girls

Q: What energizes you at work?  

A: My heart sings when I make a sale, but my biggest motivator is positive feedback from happy clients.  I pride myself on my ability to develop great relationships with my clients and get their trust and respect, so positive feedback bolsters my confidence in that.

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

A: Flight.

Speaking of that, we have to jet. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Johanna. Have a question for Johanna? Drop us a comment & we will get you an answer.

Johanna Salomon, Regional Dir Business Development

Q&A: Meet RESTORE Front End Developer, Josh Moyers

Hey Josh. Thanks for agreeing to give our RESTORE tribe a look into your life. Let's get started.


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

A: I build and maintain user interfaces, handle accessibility concerns, and help come up with development standards and practices for streamlined development workflows. You could come to me with any questions or concerns when it comes to user accessibility, the visual elements of RESTORE, or any nerdy tech questions.

Lisa Simpson Questions GIF by The Simpsons

Q: What led you to this career path?

A: I got into development as a hobby in high school. Being able to write code and see it do something always seemed interesting to me. Once I figured out I could do that for a living it just sort of happened.

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

A: Probably a combination of my parents. They’ve always been hard workers, and have always mixed humor into their daily lives.

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

A: I like tinkering with small electronics, building stuff around the house, and trying repeatedly (i.e. failing) to create music.

Q. What's something you recently saw that made you smile?

A: My daughter's first dance recital.

Q: What's one song/artist you are embarrassed to admit you like?

A: Fergalicious - Fergie (I know every word, and I guess I’m not embarrassed about it. It was my ringtone for several years.)

Thank U GIF by Fergie

Q: What’s the worst job you’ve ever had, and what did you learn from it? 

A: I don’t think I’ve ever had a “worst” job. I’ve worked fast food, as a stock boy at a grocery store, at marketing and promotional agencies, in retail corporations, and even spent some time in the Army. They’ve all had their ups & downs. I guess I’ve just learned to be adaptive and roll with the punches throughout all of it.

Q: What three words would your friends use to describe you?

A: Clever, Loyal and Tenacious


Wow! Well, we definitely need all three of those things here at RESTORE. Thanks for giving us some insight into your life. Have a question for Josh? Drop us a comment and we will get you an answer.

JIm Marlowe, clccess Director

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.

group and concurrent

Q&A: Group and Concurrent

Question: 

How can we use RESTORE in the delivery of group and concurrent therapy?

Answer:

Great question. To start we have to understand the difference between group and concurrent therapy:

  • Group Therapy - One therapist/asst. providing treatment of 2-6 patients performing similar functional skill activities that are part of their plans of care regardless of payor source.
  • Concurrent Therapy - One therapist/assist. providing treatment to 2 patients simultaneously, who are performing different functional skill activities (per payor guidelines).

Next, let’s look at some of the potential benefits of these deliveries of care approaches:

  • Socialization - helps mitigate the risks of isolation/loneliness and promotes social interaction skills.
  • Patterning of Behavior - promotes the ability to learn from others. Players of similar or different functional ability levels can benefit from observing/demonstrating how to perform an activity that helps to improve their own performance outcomes.
  • Cooperation - the ability to work together towards a common goal can be rewarding and motivating. By working together, players can achieve outcomes they may never have realized individually.
  • Competition - many players are motivated by competition. They may in fact participate longer, move more, and engage more when there is an opportunity for a winning outcome.
  • FUN - the most important benefit is that skill-building with others is more enjoyable than skill-building alone. 

concurrent therapy

 

RESTORE can be used in support of both group and concurrent therapy

Progress can be accelerated by combining socialization, patterning of behavior, and functional skill-building with immersive, interactive content (preferably person-centered based on the expressed interests of each player). Let’s consider the following:

  • 2-6 patients (players) who share a common interest, such as casino gaming, and have therapy plan of care goals to increase activity tolerance (sitting or standing), upper extremity range of motion, coordination, and sustained attention would enjoy participating in a Jackpot, Plinko, or Bingo competition. Players can be in the same room and remain socially distanced while set up with a device with a webcam (laptop, tablet, iPad) and simultaneously address functional skills while performing a friendly competition or just trying to achieve personal bests. Players are able to encourage one another through social interaction, while additionally patterning behavior from other players to help them better achieve their personal desired skill-building outcomes.
  • 2 players who may or may not share a common interest can each be set up with a device and the therapist can facilitate concurrent activities addressing desired functional skill-building with both players. A therapist may also choose to have both players participating on the same screen at the same time while working on different functional skills. For example, one player may be pulling the handle of a slot machine on the right side with his/her upper extremity while sitting and a second player may be pulling the handle on the opposite side of the slot machine with a squat or lower extremity while standing. Although the enjoyment of the same game is appreciated, each player is working on distinctly different functional skills concurrently.

Set up & selection options for the delivery of group and concurrent therapy

  • Group Play
    • Scoring is recorded on a leaderboard. Players can attempt to beat their personal best score and even make their mark on the All-Time Leaderboard
    • 2 Players - Cooperative
      • Best for grouping two players playing at the same time on the same screen requiring similar functional skill-building
      • Concurrent consideration in this mode is to have 2 players on the same screen at the same time requiring different functional skill-building
    • 2 Players - Taking Turns
      • Best for grouping two players, taking turns to encourage each other, pattern behavior, and facilitate competitive motivation
    • More than 2 Players - Taking Turns
      • Best for grouping more than two players, taking turns to encourage each other, pattern behavior, and facilitate competitive motivation 
  • RESTORE Together
    • Players from different devices compete in the same game, same setting competition to see who can achieve the top score.
    • Private Game
      • Best for facilitating a group of 2 or more players in the same location on different devices who desire to experience interactive game play. Players compete with our default settings in a competition where players are able to see their place (who is in first, second, third, etc.) and scoring outcomes in real time
      • A therapist will create a private game on one device and assist players on different devices to access the private game via a unique code that is entered at app.restoreskills.com/together 
  • Single Game
    • Best for group treatment with the therapist providing each player a device and:
        • Addressing the same functional skill-building with different games or individualized settings for the same games
    • Best for concurrent treatment with the therapist providing each player a device and:
        • Addressing different functional skill-building with different games or the same game but working on a different functional skill
  • Tournament Play
    • This is created by the RESTORE team upon request. Play can be enhanced with the creation of a "same game" tournament or multi-game Olympic event-style competition. Events can occur within one location or across multiple locations simultaneously. An event can be created as a single day or multi-day event.

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 when able to experience success, learn from one another, and feel a sense of accomplishment. Therapists are able to appropriately incorporate functional skill-building groups or concurrent treatment using RESTORE for more effective and efficient outcomes.

 

group_together

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!

 

 

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.

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