Engagement Matters! Just ask Brookdale
The word dementia has a powerful connotation. It’s a connotation that implies loss on every level: loss of independence, loss of connections, loss of awareness. There is no denying the reality of dementia and the pain it causes, both for the individual living with the disease and their family.
However, my intention, and the intention of our company, It’s Never 2 Late (iN2L), is to show that there is still so much life to be shared and gained. While life is different for everyone involved in the dementia process, that difference does not necessarily have to mean universal loss. People living with dementia do not lose the ability to laugh, smile, feel, cry or enjoy life – it’s just a different reality. People still love their favorite music, their spiritual connections and the bond they feel with their past.
It’s Never 2 Late was founded in 1999 with the simple belief that there is a better way to treat people living with physical and cognitive issues, especially those living in senior living communities. These men and women invented the backbone of the technology we all take for granted and they have the right to stay connected and engaged in a dignified way. We built a company that takes traditional computer technology with an easy user interface and delivers age appropriate content through touch screen activation. This allows seniors to stay in touch with their world without having to “know” how to use a computer. They can touch their way to virtual travel, spiritual content, games and puzzles, TV shows, historical content and more.
Their options are endless and every individual has their own unique experience. Users simply touch their picture and their favorites launch. They can listen to music, read the newspaper, play games or watch video clips of their kids and grandkids. It’s remarkable and life changing for both residents and their families.
Can you imagine being in your 90s and transporting back 80 years to the farm you grew up on through Google Earth?! It’s indescribable to see that reaction, and iN2L users have the good fortune of seeing these experiences every day.
Brookdale wholeheartedly embraced iN2L throughout its dementia care programming. As the founder of the company, I cannot tell you how meaningful it was for me when Brookdale, the nation’s largest and most progressive senior living provider, chose our engagement technology as their tool of choice in dementia care programming. They even rebranded it, calling it (to our delight) “InTouch.” If you are dealing with dementia in your own life, with someone perhaps you know and love, visit a Brookdale Clare Bridge community and have the life enrichment director show you this tool, and how it transforms their programming.
The world of dementia is difficult to navigate and easy to fear. But even through the disease’s difficulties, remember that the reality for the person you love is changing, not ending. Brookdale lives and breathes that philosophy every day, let them hold your hand through the journey.