At iN2L, the leading provider of person-centered engagement technology for older adults, we have been conducting research to better understand the impact of our technology on the lives of those we serve. In this blog post, I will share some of the key results from our work on the first two phases of Project VITAL (Virtual Inclusive Technology for ALl), a project in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association and Florida Department of Elder Affairs, which examined how technology and community resources could be leveraged to combat social isolation and loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Across the first two phases of Project VITAL, 600 iN2L tablets were distributed to 300 senior care communities, including assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care, and adult family-care homes. Staff members were asked to complete online surveys approximately six months after the iN2L tablets were implemented in their community in order to gauge staff perceptions of residents’ feelings of social isolation and mood.
Across all community types, staff agreed that residents were struggling with loneliness and that their mood had declined since the implementation of COVID-19 precautionary measures. However, there was strong agreement among staff that the iN2L tablets were useful in both reducing residents’ loneliness and improving residents’ mood. Feedback from staff help demonstrate the different ways in which the tablets could have a positive impact on these metrics, including being a good source of distraction and engagement.
“The tablets have been a great tool for distractions from COVID.”
“We have very much enjoyed [the tablets]. Each month we celebrate a different country, and we use iN2L for music from the country we are celebrating. We also use them for bed-bound residents to play relaxation music.”
“I have used iN2L in my memory care unit. The sing-alongs, the old programs (Lone Ranger, etc.) are fabulous…It makes a HUGE difference in my residents suffering with sun downers.”
“The residents have truly enjoyed all of the features.”
Staff also agreed that the tablets made it easier for residents to stay in touch with family and friends, which could help alleviate feelings of social isolation and loneliness. One key way that residents could connect with family and friends using the tablet was through video chat. A staff member noted that not only did residents enjoy video chats, but that “the families enjoyed the video chatting.”
You can read more about Project VITAL 1 and 2 in our study published in Frontiers in Public Health.
iN2L has been creating possibilities, enjoyment, and connection for older adults through content-driven engagement since 1999. iN2L’s expansive content library promotes wellness, empowerment, and engagement among older adults and is the foundation for activities that facilitate social interaction, cognitive and physical exercise and therapy, education, reminiscing, areas of interest, and memory support engagement. iN2L is a critical part of the resident experience in more than 3,700 nursing homes, assisted and independent living communities, memory care settings, and adult day programs across the U.S. and Canada.
To learn more about iN2L and its senior living program, please join us for an informative webinar on Thursday, May 5, at 2 p.m. ET.