New technologies improve well-being and quality of life in nursing homes

Contrary to popular belief, technology does not conflict with age. At CleceVitam Residences, they are clear about this and that is why day after day they reinforce their commitment to technological innovation, always aimed at enhancing well-being and quality of life, as well as promoting active aging.

Text: Beatriz Garcia

“They are older, they don’t understand technology” “My mom drives a tablet? Not possible!” “Get off, go, that’s too talkative for me.” Some family members, society in general and even many elderly people often have a preconceived notion that old people and technology are like water and oil: it is impossible to mix. But the daily reality in housing CleceVitam It shows the opposite: that new technologies are invaluable tools not only for controlling their health and maintaining their abilities (physical and cognitive), but also for their relationship with their families, for staying in touch with the community to which they belong and creating that sense of home and community that is seen in dwellings on that it CleceVitam Stories, in Cerdanola del Valles (Barcelona).

“Old people and technology are not incompatible. Workshops have been held in our residences to bring them closer to people who have no prior knowledge or habit of using it, and we have seen that using it is not only age-appropriate, but something that motivates and interests them a lot. The curiosity they arouse leads them to share projects. doubts and experiences with each other.”

Claudia Martins, Head of CleceVitam Service in Catalonia.

Technology makes life easier, safer and more humane

The health crisis, especially the most difficult months of strict confinement, was a great boost to the use of technology in all areas (work, leisure, commerce…). And of course also inside the residences. CleceVitam Stories It opened its doors in 2020, amid a pandemic, knowing technology would be an essential ally. In this center, each inhabitant is assigned a tablet in his room where, at the moment, all the attention and care they receive (bathing, food, accompanying the sink, personal hygiene, medicines …) is recorded. Thus, it not only simplifies this registration and control process, allowing more time for direct attention by the team of professionals with each user, but also improves the calmness of residents and their families and the security of getting quality care, at every moment.

The CISCO Monitor, which allows for videoconferencing, and the Edam Monitor, portable and wireless which allows to control the vital signs of each user at any time and place of residence, also contribute to this. Then, at the end of each shift, the monitor is connected to the web and the results are exported directly to the global software program: in less than a minute, and without wasting time on paperwork, or omissions in control.

Inmu pillow, designed to stimulate multiple senses

Technologies have also been and remain essential as a communication tool, as they allow residents to stay in constant contact with their family and nearby environment. “Some residents have their own smartphones and tablets and have adapted these tools to communicate with their families who, in the most restricted periods, were not able to see them as much as they wanted. Video calls are a clear example of the modifications that dwellings have made thanks to new technologies: for most residents, they are The first moment to see someone on the phone screen is shocking, and then they want to know more, they want to explore and know how to do it. More with the hardware. This is where the specialists in our centers play a key role, informing them, accompanying them and solving any questions that arise,” she says. Claudia.

But in addition to accompanying and helping the elderly use devices, CleceVitam Stories Implemented a digital platform called Famileo, which has become another communication channel, which allows the family and the nearby environment of the user to share photos and messages through the application (or the web). Plus, for those residents less tech-savvy or those who simply want to preserve their memories on a tangible medium, a magazine is printed out weekly so they can see on paper everything their families want to share along the way. of the week.

Therapeutic and interactive technology

“Although at first they tend to hesitate a little, when they realize that using devices is quite intuitive, and they can use it without complications, they accept that and have a much better time doing activities through technology, because it is new and entertaining and encourages them to learn,” adds Zegna Puig. Her role as a social teacher for CleceVitam Stories Coordination of psychological stimulation and recreational activities that take place in the center, paying special attention to presenting developments and adapting them to the interests of the population based on their preferences, tastes and hobbies.

Because the concept of some housing, like all CleceVitam, is very different from some pre-made ideas. They are homes for people who choose to live in, spaces where through personal attention they can continue to develop their vital projects. CleceVitam Residences is built around the Whole Attention Centered Person (AICP) model, which consists of knowing each user as much as possible so that their stay is unbeatable and their individual and personalized attention. Claudia Martins sums it up: “It is not the person who has to adapt to the accommodation, but the dwelling that has to adapt to the person.” This methodology requires that assistance be customized based on the user’s history, preferences, values, and expectations.

With this premise, Xènia and the rest of the team design the most appropriate activities and treatments, both on an individual and group level. Taking into account the technological innovations that can be introduced to enhance the well-being, quality of life and active aging of the users. Among the professions that arouse the greatest enthusiasm among the population, for example, handicrafts. Through them, skills such as creativity and fine motor skills are worked on, which is why the Yeti Tablet is very useful”, says the social educator. It is a very simple and intuitive xxl version of the tablet that offers endless possibilities. “It is a very useful visual resource, we can Find new ideas for crafts they like and follow step-by-step in an easier and more stimulating way.” They also use this large tablet for board games, such as Memory or Pasapalabra, which invite more participation precisely because they are interactive and train their cognitive abilities while promoting social connection.” The techniques have been shown to work on collective cohesion in symbiosis units. Xenia Puig adds that playing games as a team enhances a sense of belonging to the center’s community.

The Yeti Tablet allows the use of more than three million applications. For resident Paula Gill, her favorite site is YouTube and she looks forward to networking every afternoon. “I love old and new music and put it on that giant screen so I can sing along and follow the lyrics,” she said, anxiously awaiting her son’s arrival.

Among the professions that arouse the greatest enthusiasm among the population, for example, handicrafts. It is through them that skills such as creativity and fine motor skills are worked on which is why Yeti Tablet is very useful”

Xenia Puig, social educator.

“In dwellings, we try to keep people’s life project alive, to continue participating and living in the community, and not to be neglected or disconnected from what is happening from the outside. This includes technology, if society advances technologically, we ensure that residents can also enjoy these developments in their daily lives and that the team is able to think of meaningful and motivating activities with this aspect of innovation”, explains Claudia Martins.

Relaxation, travel and culture: virtual reality is already part of the housing

In the daily life of residents between the ages of 70 and 99 CleceVitam Stories At home, there is plenty of time for everything. For relaxation, fun and leisure and for non-pharmacological treatments, both individual and group. On an individual level, residents can take advantage of the effects of the Inmu pillow, which is designed for multisensory stimulation, which provides various benefits for people with cognitive impairment and improves behavioral disturbances.

360 degree viewerthe

They can also have exhilarating experiences through virtual reality glasses. Video presentations are made that take into account a person’s emotional well-being and that are important depending on each person’s interests: from visiting museums and monuments, to traveling anywhere in the world, swimming with dolphins, touching the sand from the beach or pedaling and exercising under the guidance of a physiotherapist , while traversing different landscapes.

And for living experiences in a group or for those who get dizzy from glasses, there is a 360-degree projectorthe Allows you to sit comfortably in an armchair while the room envelops you in an immersive environment. Virtual reality can be used for emotional and sensory stimulation, to treat people with cognitive impairment or who have experienced cardiovascular accidents. It is also useful in treating chronic pain, by stimulating the brain to block the receptors that cause it, just as pain relievers do. In this sense, the 360 ​​. projector isthe It is of great importance in the unity of highly dependent persons in residence. And also, of course, it can be used simply to have a moment of relaxation and enjoyment. “It is a nice!” , summarizes Paula Gill who, in her 70s, enjoys these experiences the most.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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