Nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Clermont and Lady Lake are among 150 in Florida set to receive tablets that will enable residents with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia to connect with their loved ones via video chats.
Yarissa Reyes, of the Alzheimer’s Association, says that tablets will be sent to 100 facilities Friday, May 1; tablets were sent April 24 to the first 50 sites. She declined to identify the sites receiving the tablets. She adds there’s a possibility that more will be provided through additional grant funding.
The Alzheimer’s Association is partnering with the state of Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs through Project: VITAL (Virtual Inclusion Technology for All). Senior-friendly tablets from engagement technology provider iN2L will be distributed to nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the state, according to a news release.
“There are more than 580,000 people in Florida living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Approximately two-thirds of the people living in ALFs have some form of dementia,” Angela McAuley, the Alzheimer’s Association Florida regional leader, says in the release. “Project: VITAL has provided the association the opportunity to extend our reach to not just those living with dementia, but to all seniors in Florida who are vulnerable to the negative effects of social isolation.”
During the initial pilot phase, the Alzheimer’s Association is working with 150 care communities, supplying two tablets per community, as well as virtual training on how to use the equipment and platform.
The tablets are preloaded with software programming from iN2L, enabling residents to connect with their loved ones via video chat with a simple tap on the home screen. The tablet further fosters connection with family by creating individual profiles for every resident, with the added ability for family to add personal photos and videos to those profiles for residents to view whenever they like. Also included on the tablet is an expansive, easily personalized library of applications that supports cognitive, emotional, social, physical and spiritual wellness for the ultimate person-centered engagement experience.
“We are excited to be working alongside the Alzheimer’s Association to provide the technology and tools for Project: VITAL,” Lisa Taylor, iN2L CEO, adds in the release. “We know how important meaningful connection is to older adults’ health and well-being, and during COVID-19, it is absolutely critical.”
She says the tablets are a connection care package for the senior residents.
“We’re hoping the use of these customized tablets will facilitate critical connections with the families, especially during these times, but we want to use them for sustainable models for the future,” Richard Prudom, secretary of the Department of Elder Affairs, adds in the release. “We want to ensure the safety of our vulnerable seniors while keeping their loved ones connected.”