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Flourishing Communities: Opportunities, Inc.

 

In this on-demand webinar featuring Opportunities, Inc., our panelists discuss using iN2L by LifeLoop to provide personalized engagement for their adult day program participants and simplify participant activity reporting. Watch now to learn how they're transforming programming with individualized content to meet diverse participant needs!

ROI highlights:
  • 50% increase in participant engagement since implementing LifeLoop
  • 100% of staff feel their overall job is easier, better, or more satisfying since implementing LifeLoop
 
Flourishing Communities Webinar Series

LifeLoop is proud to feature this year's Communities That Shine award winners as part of an all-new webinar series called, Flourishing Communities. This series focuses on senior living communities that are leveraging technology to create exceptional experiences for their residents, their families, and community staff. Learn more about this series and register for upcoming webinars here

Webinar script

Paige Mantel: Welcome, everybody, to our webinar today. Happy to see a lot of people joining us while everybody is joining us, would love to learn where everybody is coming from today. If you have a chance, please go into the chat at the bottom of your screen and type in your community name and the city from where you're coming from, we'd love to hear from you.

All right. Well, welcome everyone to our Flourishing Communities Webinar Series today. This series puts a spotlight on senior living communities that are leveraging technology to create exceptional experiences for their residents and participants. We've been doing these about every 2 weeks we have a few more scheduled, and hope you continue to join us. I'm Paige Mantel, Chief Marketing Officer of LifeLoop, and I'm thrilled to be your host for today's session.

I think most of our audience knows LifeLoop, but to summarize, we have one goal: helping senior living communities flourish. We've been serving the industry for 25 years with our technology solutions that help more than 4,700 communities engage their residents, delight their staff, and connect family members. Our discussion today will run for about 30 minutes. We welcome your questions and ask that you please put those in the Q&A box at the bottom of your screen. And then at the end of the webinar, we'll have a short survey for you to complete and provide feedback on this webinar. We always appreciate feedback. As a follow-up, in a few days you'll receive an email with the recording of today's session, so you can re-watch or share it with your colleagues.

Now, to my amazing guests on today's episode. Earlier this year, LifeLoop announced our Communities That Shine Award winners and I'm thrilled to have one of our winners, Opportunities, Inc., joining us today. Opportunities, Inc. specifically won our Brilliance in Transforming Program Delivery based on their use of LifeLoop's iN2Lengagement solution to allow individualized content adaptation, which has been crucial in meeting the diverse needs of its memory care and adult day services program participants. They have seen a 50% increase in participation engagement, and 100% of staff feel their job is easier, better, and more satisfying since implementing LifeLoop. We'll dive into how they're doing that with our time together today.

Melissa is the Adult Day Services Manager and Nicole is the Adult Day Services Lead. Welcome, Melissa and Nicole. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Melissa Jeaggi: Thanks for having us.

Nicole Kozak: Thanks for having us.

Paige Mantel: Absolutely. So, let's dive in, Melissa. Tell us more about Opportunities, Inc. and the Connections adult day services that you run there.

Melissa Jeaggi: Sure, I'd love to. So, Opportunities is a community rehabilitation program, and we are located in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. We were established in 1966 through the grassroots visions of parents that were committed to ensuring their family members with diverse abilities had a place to train, had a place to work, and a place to be independent. This is versus just sitting at home. So for nearly 60 years, the agency continues to build on their mission, and they develop programs that have included the Connections adult day services program. The Connections program serves folks with disabilities; ages range from 18 years old to 70+. So we have two programs that fall under the Connections umbrella. The 1st program is just our general day services program. We serve people with a variety of disabilities such as a brain injury, autism, Down Syndrome. And then we also have developed our memory care program. So those folks that attend those programs have similar diagnoses, except for now we've added an extra layer with some memory care issues. Regardless of the program, our goal for each of the programs is really just to provide a great atmosphere to promote independence and personal achievement.

Paige Mantel: I love that. What an amazing program. And I'm so excited about this webinar because this is a different program type of program and community than some of our previous webinars. So I'm excited to continue to go down this road of shining a bright light on the great work you're doing. Melissa, what brought you to Opportunities? What's your background?

Melissa Jeaggi: So I actually started at Opportunities in 1997; I had some previous experience and other rehab facility, and also the group home setting. Really, from my first tour of Opportunities, I knew that the mission was very important here, and that was to maximize successes and enhance the abilities of folks with disabilities. I knew right away that I wanted to be part of that. Since being here, I have held several different positions. But honestly, I felt like home once I entered the Connections program, and we serve folks with the greatest of needs. Myself, along with Nicole, have seen many changes throughout the years. For example, when I started in the program, we served 25 individuals. And now we're at 60 plus. And so with that, you know, our programming needs have continued to change, and we always looks for the most efficient way to provide that programming.

Paige Mantel: That's great! That's great. What a long tenure you've had there. Nicole, what about you? What was your journey to supporting adult services at Opportunities?

Nicole Kozak: So, I've been with the company Opportunities Incorporated since 1992, and my journey really started, well, before that. I have two relatives that were born with cognitive disability. So I have been around that my entire life. And I really found that I found something personally satisfying just by helping others, seeing, you know, a positive impact in their ability to just either maintain a skill, learn a new skill, no matter how big or small. And then, just, you know, letting them have that social interaction with people. And like Melissa, I've also had multiple positions within the company, which I think has allowed me to excel with the memory care portion, because, as they're aging and starting to exhibit to what some is a new behavior, I've been able to actually point out that, you know, 20 some years ago we saw this behavior. And so we've been able to adapt programming around that.

Paige Mantel: Well, your longevity for both of you, I'm sure, has a meaningful impact to the participants, and having that full journey with them. Alright. Well, let's dive into what makes Opportunities a flourishing program and community as a day services program. You have unique challenges and needs for participant engagement. Melissa, can you share more about those?

Melissa Jeaggi: Sure. So, as I had mentioned, we serve 60 individuals, and no one person is the same. I have 9 staff that support the individuals. We call these our Direct Support Professionals or DSPs, and their goal is really to provide that exceptional service to the individual as well as their team. So you know, we also have care providers and funding sources and guardians and parents that we need to please also with our day-to-day programming. And one of those challenges that the DSP has is just the time to coordinate all the enrichment activities that can be adapted to the varying learning styles and the varying interests that our participants have.

The need was strong for a one-stop shop, additionally, just being able to identify that material. You know, you have the World Wide Web, but that can be extremely overwhelming. I mean, there's a lot of material out there, and we have to make sure that that material is engaging, and you know, is suitable for the needs of the individual. And you know, the last thing is sometimes the best-laid plans just don't happen. And so, we need to figure out what's going to work in the moments to provide that support. For example, I have a gal who 90% of the time, we don't see any behavioral challenges. But we also have that 10%. And we may not necessarily see that coming. We know one thing that works for her is Paint by Numbers. So it's much easier to pull the Paint by Numbers on the LifeLoop than it would be to pull out, you know a paintbrush, and finding a Paint by Numbers, you know, that all takes a lot of time to do, so it's nice just to have the LifeLoop there for that accessibility, for when those times do occur.

Paige Mantel: Yeah, I mean the way you paint that picture of 60 diverse individuals with diverse needs, and throughout the day, having those diverse needs and being able to respond quickly and efficiently to support them. So you started to talk about it a little bit, but share a little bit more, maybe, about what made you decide to implement the iN2L engagement solution. And how do you see it helping engage participants today?

Melissa Jeaggi: So the LifeLoop really offered an easy solution to our time management for the individuals, for the group activities that we do. And I'm just gonna throw out some examples of some of the things that we use. We find the Monthly Highlights really effective because it's really geared towards all those abilities. It has ready-to-use content available, and it's accessible by the touch of a finger. The topics offered are visually pleasing. They're audibly pleasing. And all of that is important, because that's what encourages learning and really piques the interest of our individuals.

The discussion starters are another one that will pop into my head. It's a great way to engage the entire group, but with those it also allows us the opportunity for the individual to give their answers so that they know that they're being heard, so that they know their answer is being valued. Finally, music is so important. You know. You look at studies, and time and time again, it shows how music can ease anxiety or stress for those, especially with dementia. We have found Music with Mary Sue and therapeutic music in the jukebox to be very effective, not only for our folks we serve, but also for the DSPs, so you know, you're walking through the room and you're listening to, or you're hearing a catchy tune. I mean, the first thing you're gonna do is start singing, and that's very contagious. And then you got the whole room singing. And you know, when the DSPs are having fun, that's just gonna spread right to our participants.

Paige Mantel: I love that, those are great examples of use. Nicole, walk us through what you see is a typical day. I'm sure, no day is very typical. Every day is a little different. But walk us through a typical day of how you use the solution and some examples of how it's helping engage your participants individually.

Nicole Kozak: So at the beginning of every day, I usually have classical music playing from the jukebox in the background and then utilizing one of the videos from the slow TV section. Whether it's the African jungle or the grazing cows, just something that's calming and pleasing upon their arrival, just because transition times can be a struggle, for you know, quite a few of them. So they always know they're coming into a calm and relaxing environment.

And then throughout the day, we use it for a variety of activities. We'll hold a cooking class, and we'll use the iN2L to do the meal builder section. Trivia is a big one. Of course, you know everybody likes the Bingo, and as most of us said, the singalongs and a few examples of that. So we had a participant who in late spring of last year had a stroke. She spent the majority of her time during the summer at home rehabbing. When she returned to us, we were seeing some, you know, just escalating behaviors that she wasn't necessarily able to communicate with us. So just through trial and error, we found that if we went to one of the travel videos, especially New York, it calmed her behaviors. And why, we found out during her rehab at home, she spent that time outside watching cars go by, people walking, just the sounds of nature and traffic, and when we would put that on, within minutes she would be calmed.

Paige Mantel: Wow!

Nicole Kozak: And if she's calming, you know, others are calming. And then we have another individual who would just randomly start to cry or have extremely loud outbursts also, not necessarily able to tell us why or what was wrong. So we found that Singing with Mary Sue became a distraction. That individual would sit there for a few minutes, and before we know it, the screaming or the crying has stopped, and a few minutes later she's singing along. And now the entire room is singing with her, and they're also no longer focused on her behavior. They were focused on what Mary Sue was singing. So those have been very beneficial to us. And there's many more, too. I mean, it's just been a blessing to have this machine, so I would encourage anybody if they're thinking about it, they should purchase.

Paige Mantel: Thanks, Nicole. Those are extremely powerful stories of how you're using iN2L and the engagement solution, all the different content pieces to really individualize and personalize support for your participants. let's keep going on that, Nicole. What are some of the other participant favorite content pieces and programs?

Nicole Kozak: Oh, they love the puzzles! Any of the interactive games where it's a single player or multiplayer, bubble popping, playing the drums. All of the singalongs, the karaoke. They enjoy all of the world trivia or travel videos, which also there are some that then have trivia along with it. But I have found with the travel videos, some of our individuals have been very fortunate and they've traveled the world through various organizations, so we will put one on and they instantly, well, oh, I was there, and I saw this, and I saw that. And then so they're sharing their memories and engaging the other group in whatever travel video we happen to be watching. So those have been very great. The exercise is popular. They love that it's geared for seniors and that they can sit and still be, you know, active. So those have been very, very beneficial.

Paige Mantel: Love it, awesome. So, let's talk about your staff. You mentioned it was 9 DSPs. Is that right, Melissa?

Melissa Jeaggi: Correct. Yep.

Paige Mantel: So how have you seen them using iN2L? And how does it help them?

Melissa Jeaggi: So, it's been a tremendous help just for the day-to-day activities. You know, one of the primary goals always is to find material that will be engaging, entertaining, educational, you know, and that does require some careful consideration to choose that right material to ensure that's an activity that they will enjoy and learn some things from. And often those DSPs need to adjust to situations and diversify the activities. With the LifeLoop it's really easy to do because all the content is right there.

I know I mentioned Monthly Highlights. They have been a key to assisting with the day-to-day planning, planning. But you know those daily tips are also so great. It gives you your choice of activities. You can do your Monthly Highlights. You can do your trivia. You can do your videos. You can learn about food. You can do a slide show. I mean, it's really endless. And again, it's so easy to use. And it's right there, for the DSPs, makes it very easy, you know.

Additionally, I just want to mention, too, that I have a responsibility to report to our board of directors, and I have to do that every year. And the great thing about the LifeLoop is there is the portal community dashboard. And what that does is, it provides me with a very quick reference with the content that we have been using, how long we've been using the content, what times of the day that we use it, and it just makes it really easy, you know, to take that information and show it right to them. And I can tell you our board of directors is very pleased with the LifeLoop, and what we've been able to do with it in our program.

Paige Mantel: That's great. I love that it's helped you ease your reporting process.

Melissa Jeaggi: Yeah, it's right.

Paige Mantel: Before that, how were you reporting that data?

Melissa Jeaggi: Yeah, pencil and paper. Yeah.

Paige Mantel: So making your job a little bit easier, right, Melissa?

Melissa Jeaggi: Yes, definitely.

Paige Mantel: So, Nicole, how did you train the DSPs, getting them comfortable with using it? Well, obviously, sometimes technology adoption can be a struggle for some and be really easy for some. But how did how did you tackle that at Opportunities?

Nicole Kozak: You know, we're pretty fortunate, we've used a little bit of technology, not this, but anytime you introduce anything new, there's that little bit of anxiety. But the iN2L is so user-friendly that really the minute they got on it, any anxiety they had or concerns about how it was going to impact their day-to-day really was gone when they were able to just, you know, have a little bit of time to go through it. And just, you know, pull up a section and see what activities were offered or what the content available to them was. Really one or two times of them being active with the machine, and all of their anxieties were gone. So then it's just, you know, as they come up to new content, if they have questions, we walk them through that, provide a little hands-on, you know, interaction with that. But it really, it's so easy to use that there really is not much stress with that.

Paige Mantel: That's great to hear. That's great to hear. So when you think about helping your staff be as efficient and effective as possible. I think, Melissa, you mentioned, you've got over 60 participants, 9 DSPs. You have to change things throughout the day. How is the technology helping your DSPs be as effective and efficient as possible during their day?

Melissa Jeaggi: So kind of like I mentioned before, it's iN2L. The program is with us from when our day begins. Honestly, it's like having an extra staff in the room, because the program is just there for us, you know? We run classes in the afternoon, and whether it's our cooking class, our trivia groups, our crafting, it's our armchair travel, I mean, no matter where we're at, LifeLoop is a tool that we use with those classes. It easily celebrates holidays with us, it plays games, and just provides some of those great learning activities. And again, we're not researching it because all that information is right there for us.

The one piece I wanted to mention, too, that I don't think should be overlooked, is the training that is available to staff on the LifeLoop. So I try to offer the opportunity for each DSP to take a little time each week to do trainings. And it could be with the LifeLoop, it could be anywhere. But I can tell you, 9 out of 9 of my DSPs right now are using the Teepa Snow trainings, and for those of you who don't know Teepa, she is a dementia specialist, and she gives a fantastic training. She's got humor, and she's just very engaging.

Paige Mantel: Yes, I know that that is an extremely popular training in our system, so great to hear it's working well for your team as well. Let's shift over to talk about family members and loved ones and people that care about the folks, your participants. How do they engage with the program, Nicole? Ask you for that one.

Nicole Kozak: So the majority of our participants do not live at home. They're in a group home or an adult family home. So when Melissa's holding annual and bi-annual meetings, that's when families and their support teams are coming in and really seeing how their day is being spent and the programs that are offered. And one thing that is always talked about is their use with the iN2L. They're interested to see how it works. They're very interested to see how their loved one is utilizing that. So we actually have a non-verbal autistic man who, you know, he likes to be social in his own way. So every day he puts Bingo on for the rest of the group. His mom happened to be there one day, and you know, somebody mentioned, oh, can you please put Bingo on? So he got up, he was able to exit out of the content we were using and put Bingo on. And Mom just stood there, and she has a big smile on her face, and she was just so pleased to see that, you know, he was doing something that was benefiting somebody else. And she just found so much joy in that, you know. And today he still puts Bingo on.

Paige Mantel: Yup, that's it. Every day, right?

Nicole Kozak: Yes. And so we also, as potential tours are coming through to see if somebody would be a good fit for the program, if we're a good fit for them, we're always highlighting the iN2L. They get a chance to use the machine, see how the DSPs are using it, and also seeing how, you know, an individual, we'll get up and they love to show off the machine and get that tour member to play the game with them.

Paige Mantel: That's great, that's great, and I imagine, especially going back to the story about the gentleman with the Bingo, setting his mom's mind at ease to see him flourishing and engaged and having purpose and responsibility like that.

Nicole Kozak: Absolutely. It's been very impactful.

Paige Mantel: Wonderful. Melissa, overall, when you look at the impact for Opportunities with this technology, you know, how would you describe it?

Melissa Jeaggi: You know, I think it's had a tremendous impact on our day-to-day programming, it's a lot of our participants the ability to navigate their way through educational material and material that they want to do. You know, kind of going back to what Nicole says, maybe they can follow the sequence to get to the program that they're interested in doing. Or maybe it's the DSPs, you know, they get them to the place that they need to be, and then they're able to be actively involved with whatever is of interest to them.

And Nikki mentioned this too, I hold annual and semi-annual meetings every year. So usually, you see one of two things. You either see me pushing a 55-inch screen down the hallway to our meeting room, or I invite the individuals into the room and, you know, the joy on their face when they're showing their care provider how they're able to interact with this machine, whether they're, I've had a gal pull up singing, and she sang to the group, I've had another gal, she pulled up a game and showed them what game that she interacts with her friends with when they're here. It's great that the families get to see firsthand what we do.

The other thing is I have funding sources that have to do a monthly face-to-face. So, a lot of times they'll choose to come into the connections program to do that face-to-face. Well, let me tell you, if we are sitting there and we are playing Family Feud or trivia, but mostly Family Feud; to be honest with you, those care managers 9 out of 10 times will sit down in the chair with our group, and they're going to be shouting out the answers, they're going to be playing along, and then I'm going to get, ‘Oh, my gosh! This is so fun.’ And then that at that point, that's when I get to say, well, there's almost 7,000 different programs with the iN2L. So we are just touching, you know, the surface with everything that that it has to offer.

Paige Mantel: I love that, I love that. Family Feud is definitely a very popular program. I personally love that one. I love it. You know, I've gotta say, Melissa, Nikki. The 60 program participants are extremely lucky to have the two of you, and Opportunities as a place to go every day and be enriched, engaged. Just you've got an amazing program you're delivering there. So I just, I just have to say that, really touched by all the stories.

And last question to you, Melissa. A lot of people on this call might be looking to roll out this technology or have it and wanna use it, you know, in more impactful ways. What advice do you have for them?

Melissa Jeaggi: So we purchased the program in January of 2023, and honestly, I cannot imagine going back to the days where we didn't have the LifeLoop available. Little time is needed to train new staff on it. It's been proven extremely easy to use, you know, it's just a great tool for the DSPs to use throughout their day. They're an amazing group of people that work with our folks. And it's just like I said, just another tool to help them out. And I would honestly, if just watching this webinar, and then some of the other webinars that I've seen, I think it's probably a pretty easy choice for folks that are on the fence about it.

Paige Mantel: Thanks, Melissa. We have had a few questions come in, so let me take a quick look. Let's see, I think there was a question about, do the residents' family members join in from home? Or do you have individual modules set up per resident for communications? And I think we kind of answered, how family members are engaged when they come into the program and see what's happening there. So that's all within the community. So, I think you answered that question. And then a question on where the training for users is located. Is it located on the LifeLoop website? The training that Melissa was speaking to is actually within the iN2L system. So it's all there on the touchscreen, and you just go to it directly.

And then we update and upload new content, new trainings, new materials, new trivia questions, new music, and all of that literally every month. We have the most amazing content team, led by our co-founder, Leslie Sweeney, that is constantly bringing new, clinically backed, validated, amazing content to continue to refresh and update the systems on iN2L. So, thank you all for those questions.

And I see we're at time, so let me wrap up here by first, Melissa and Nicole, again, thank you so much for your time today and sharing your amazing story of what you're doing. Truly, a community that shines. And thank you to all of our participants for joining today and engaging in the chat and asking questions.

Our next webinar will be July 10th with another Communities That Shine winner, Astral at Auburn, a Franciscan Ministries-managed community. I hope you'll all join us for that and for those of you that are interested in learning more about the LifeLoop and iN2L products, please let us know by answering the short survey that you'll see when you exit this webinar. Our team will be happy to follow up and schedule a personalized demo for you and your team. So, thank you, everybody, and have a wonderful day.

 

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