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Flourishing Communities: The Heritage Memory Life Community


In this on-demand webinar featuring The Heritage Memory Life Community, our panelists share how they've successfully utilized technology in their memory care settings, enhancing resident experiences and bringing engagement right to their residents, even the ones who don't often want to leave their units. Watch now to hear their stories and strategies for implementing technology to help your memory care community flourish! 

ROI highlights:
  • 75% increase in resident engagement since implementing LifeLoop
  • 50% 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: All right, let's get started. Welcome everyone to our Flourishing Communities Webinar Series. This series features senior living communities that are leveraging technology to create exceptional experiences for the residents, the family members, and community staff.

We have a full schedule set with community leaders throughout the country, running about every 2 weeks. This is the third one in our series, and I know we have at least 9 more scheduled. So continue to check back and sign up for the additional ones that are coming up. I'm Paige Mantel, Chief Marketing Officer at LifeLoop. I'm thrilled to be your host for today's session. I think most of our audience does know who LifeLoop is. But to summarize, we have one goal: helping senior living communities flourish. We've been serving the senior living industry for over 25 years with our operational and engagement 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. At the end of the webinar, please complete the short survey to help us continually improve these webinars. We love your feedback. As a follow-up, in a few days you'll receive an email with the recording of today's session. You can re-watch it, share it with any of your colleagues. And that'll be great. So now, to my amazing guests on today's episode.

LifeLoop recently announced our Communities That Shine award winners, and I am thrilled to have one of our winners, The Heritage Memory Life Community, joining us today. The Heritage won our Brilliance in Resident Experience award based on their use of LifeLoop's iN2L engagement solution to bring entertainment and engagement right to its residents, even the ones that don't want to leave their rooms. Stephanie Deecher is the Assistant Administrator and Kim Greco is their Recreation Therapist. Welcome, Stephanie and Kim. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your very busy day to join us.

Stephanie Deecher: Yeah, thanks for having us.

Kimberly Greco: Yes, absolutely, thank you.

Paige Mantel:  Wonderful. So let's get started a little intro Stephanie, share a little bit more with us about The Heritage, and we'd also love to hear your personal journey to senior living.

Stephanie Deecher: Sure. So I actually began my career working with people in the Syracuse community with substance, abuse, and mental illness on Medicaid. It was when I was looking at assisted living housing for one of my clients, that I was introduced to Loretto's different communities. Loretto is well-known in our community for their short-term, rehab, skilled nursing facilities, but also multiple assisted living facilities that accept both private pay and Medicaid.

The Heritage is a memory care assisted living facility that is part of the Loretto Healthcare System, which is a nonprofit that provides a variety of services for older adults throughout Central New York. The Heritage is a secured Loretto community that features 79 private departments, is the only memory care assisted living that accepts Medicaid in our county, and is actually recognized as the first residential program in Central New York to care for those with Alzheimer's and related dementias. We actually opened our doors to our very first resident in October of 1992.

Paige Mantel: And Kim, what was your journey to senior living?

Kimberly Greco: So, my journey into senior living is a little bit similar to Stephanie's, I actually come from a social work background and working with the communities, I've worked with every demographic you can possibly imagine. The very young, the very old, and everything in between. And when, I did never realize, just until you're in it, how many people in your community, you know, are suffering with dementia, and how many caregivers there are that are struggling to take care of their family members in the best way that they can.

So, you know. And it's just there's a huge disparity, you notice when you work out in the community with people and their families, and you see their struggles, and you want to help them so bad, but you can't, because COVID did a real a real number on like in-home services. And I was working for office for the aging doing expanded in-home services for the elderly, and you know, so many people would come for the same thing to keep their family home, to keep their family home, and it was just heartbreaking to see how exhausted they were and how scared they were because they just didn't know what to do with their families, and the option of placing them somewhere was terrifying for them.

And I had a lot of clients in the past who were residents of Loretto, and it just kind of fell into place, that I just was so, you know, wanted to help them so badly, but couldn't see a way to do it from that side of it. So, making the switch to this side and working hands on with the individuals, made more sense. And I mean, it's probably been the best experience I've had, like I love coming in here every day and seeing the impact that I have on the family members and the residents, and helping them kind of understand each other, and feel comfortable with the choice that they've made to have their family here. So that's how I ended up here. I wasn't expecting it, but.

Paige Mantel: I love both of your stories, of coming into senior living through different paths, but through a common passion of caregiving and helping people live. Amazing, live. So, thank you.

So, at LifeLoop, we define flourishing communities as those that create amazing resident experiences, keeping staff like yourself, that are joyful in their work and maintaining those deep connections with family members and loved ones. So let's dive into some of the ways that you're doing that at your community. I know that our goal with developing LifeLoop’s iN2L engagement solution over these past 25 years really has been to provide our customers with endless ways to engage and enrich resident lives.

You reported in your Communities That Shine submission that you are seeing a 75% improvement in resident engagement since using it. That's amazing. So, Stephanie, tell us a little bit more. How are you creating these amazing experiences for your residents?

Stephanie Deecher: Yeah, so our residents are at all different stages of dementia and Alzheimer's, and there is really no one-size-fits-all standard for providing meaningful and enriching activities. So the versatility and the mobility of the iN2L system is such a great asset in helping us accommodate everyone and meeting them really where they are at, right then and there. Not only does our population change, but each individual changes from day to day too. So, finding the activities that they enjoy can be a little challenging.

iN2L has helped solve some of these challenges by having different activities for all different stages of dementia and Alzheimer's, and iN2L has provided such a large variety of games and activities that can be suited for both individual and group activities which has really, really helped our population.

Paige Mantel: Yeah, that's such a great example of person-centered care what you're doing there. I love that. Tell me more about the adoption curve. I know you when you got iN2L, when you got that system, there's obviously with any new technology, there is an adoption curve for both staff and residents. What can you share about Loretto's experience there?

Stephanie Deecher: Yeah, so not only is there that adoption curve, but when we received our iN2L system it was during COVID, and staff were a little weary about using technology with our memory care residents, because we actually learned through FaceTime that technology was not always a pleasant experience for all of our residents. So, an example of this was one time we had a resident who was FaceTiming her son and thought that we had her son locked in a room somewhere, because all she could see was his face on the screen. So when we received our iN2L system, we slowly introduced it to our residents individually by playing the bubble popping game, and also the traffic jam game.

What we found was that our residents took very, very quickly to these games, and it brought this entertainment and relaxation to them that we didn't see previously. We then started encouraging our staff to utilize the system for our new residents, who are struggling with the change of moving in, but also with our residents who might just be having a bad day. We actually keep our system right in our large activity room for anyone to use anytime that they feel like it or are really just looking for a way to help improve our residents’ day.

Paige Mantel: That is great. It's interesting to think through how introducing technology and different types, you've gotta do it so thoughtfully. I think the FaceTime example, I can see why that would cause a little concern but being able to bring in technology in a very thoughtful way, as you have done with iN2L, really makes a difference.

Stephanie Deecher: Oh, yes. Big difference.

Paige Mantel: Now, Kim, I know you're using the iN2L solution every day. Walk us through an average day of how you use it.

Kimberly Greco: Typically with, like the larger groups, we access a lot of the videos. Sometimes they don't, they just love nothing more than to sit and just watch a movie, something that they remember, something that's familiar. And there's such a large variety of old TV programming, like classic movies, even something as like the commercials that you can find on there for them to watch. Because you see that recognition, that light pop into their eyes when they're like, “Oh, my God! I remember this,” and then they'll start talking about stories. So, it leads into like so much more about memories and things that associate with those things that they see.

We play Family Feud a lot. They absolutely love playing Family Feud. It's probably the most popular game that we play with them in large groups, and we usually can get just about everybody engaged in it. And like, Stephanie said, with a population that is at varying stages of dementia and Alzheimer's, it's hard to find something that they all can enjoy. We also started using the Bingo option, every Tuesday we play Bingo with them. And I love the way that the bingo that's on there, it's just a seamless, it's so easy to use. And they have so much fun with that. In the smaller group setting, like with people who have a little bit of an issue as far as socialization with larger groups of people, we play a lot of the smaller games like Stephanie mentioned, the bubble popper, the jewel game. It's kind of like Tetris, where they match the gems, and they get points for it. The traffic jam, even the bicycle simulator, they love that for residents who don't like to come to like exercise activities, so we can take it to them in their own space where they're comfortable. And they love to, just, you know, get right into something that's familiar to them, and they have so much fun doing it.

Something that I kind of never really thought about until I started working here is not so much the physical and like the mental well-being, but also the spiritual well-being and the options that you guys have there for all the different faith-based music, and just so many different options from literally every faith-based option that they could think of, because not everybody is the same, you know, not everyone is Catholic, and not everyone is, you know, one denomination or the other. So it's nice to have that variety for them, because some people won't participate in Sunday mass, because that's not what they're familiar with. So being able to take to them what they know, what they're comfortable with, they love it, you know. It makes them feel seen and heard and understood. And it's just so helpful to be able to make those connections with them by being able to offer them the things that are familiar to them because it's very flexible.

Paige Mantel: Yeah, I think your examples of meeting people where they are both physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and really delivering that personalized care is so important. You do it so well, Kim.

So, Stephanie, back to you. I'd love to talk about your staff. I know you've used the iN2L system to help your staff in training. Can you share a little bit more about that?

Stephanie Deecher: Yeah, yeah. So we love using the cheapest. No trainings to continue our staff's dementia education during our staff meetings. Actually on top of the educational piece that iN2L has to offer. Staff have found this system very beneficial to use with residents who might be experiencing some sundowning or an increase in their anxiety, or those residents who are just bored in the evening, when other residents are heading to bed.

Paige Mantel: Yeah, I mean, obviously, the industry is experiencing turnover in the area of like, 85% turnover. How are you using technology to help onboard new staff as they come in?

Stephanie Deecher: Yeah, I cannot emphasize enough how beneficial those Teepa Snow trainings have been, especially to get our new staff at least a foundation to work from on working with residents with dementia and Alzheimer's.

Even though we put our staff through dementia trainings, during the height of the staffing crisis, we were able to still train our staff using the iN2L while waiting for the next official company training and certification to take place. So, no matter the position, we would actually have our staff start working with our activity department to get to know our residents and also to learn the iN2L system, on top of also watching those Teepa Snow trainings. And this was so, so, so beneficial, as it helped our staff to be able to anticipate some of the residents’ needs, and how to actually properly handle tough situations with the residents.

Paige Mantel: That's amazing. So being able to bring new staff on so quickly getting them trained through iN2L as well as your company trainings really helps them have an impact on your residents as quickly as possible. That's great.

Stephanie Deecher: Thank you.

Paige Mantel: Kim, how have you seen adoption of using the technology by your new staff?

Kimberly Greco: I think the most amazing thing about a technology is the way that it can foster connection between people where otherwise you wouldn't really be able to do that. So I've been coordinating with the supervisors here for this, for the other staff and varying departments, to kind of give them a rundown of how to use the It's Never Too Late, so that they can take it and, you know, interact with the residents here. And I think it's a really great tool, because it helps us make those connections of what people like and what they don't like, and how they're going to take to a certain situation, and that helps us all kind of build that trust that is essential for any relationship when you're working with someone because, it doesn't matter what your position is, you have to have that trust first, that workable relationship, so that they are happy to work with you, the residents. They're more than happy to do anything that you ask them because they know you know them, and they might not always be able to put everything together all the time perfectly, but they do always remember how you make them feel. And that is such an important thing when you're working with people who need that sense of safety, that sense of community, because so many things don't add up and don't make sense, and I think It's Never Too Late gives us an opportunity to sit down with each other, one on one, and build those lasting relationships which makes everyone's job so much easier.

And I always encourage everybody because we do keep it out. Come up, it's always on, come take it, take it to your wing. Bring people up in the middle of the night if they're having a hard time sleeping, and you know, just go through it, find something that they enjoy. And you know, it's such a benefit to everybody because there's literally something in there for everyone, and it is so easy to use. I can't stress the ease of how easy it is to just get into it and just start like anything. There's no, I don't know what to do, you know, it's just, it's very smooth, and I think we take for granted how such simple things can just improve everybody's experience together. And I think this, It's Never Too Late, is just one of those things that it's like a smooth transition, and it's so helpful for everybody.

Paige Mantel: Yeah, I think fostering the connections between staff and residents is so critical and being able to use technology to help create that is impactful. Another area that's so important to foster connections is with keeping family members connected. Stephanie, what are some of the strategies and tactics that you've put in place to achieve those deeper connections with the family members?

Stephanie Deecher: Yeah. So you know, not all family members are able to visit their loved ones here, as they might have their own personal barriers that prevent them from being able to visit, or they might even live out of town. This can be so difficult on both the families and the residents to not be able to see each other, especially when a lot of family members were primary caregivers to the residents prior to them moving in. So when families come to visit, they don't always know what to do when visiting too. So It's Never Too Late has helped solve some of these challenges, as families are able to send pictures and videos directly to their loved ones here to see.

Families are also able to play games with their loved ones right on the system while visiting, which has really made their time visiting a lot more enjoyable than just sitting in the resident’s apartment watching TV. Every couple of months, we actually also highlight our It's Never Too Late system in our monthly newsletter and encourage families to reach out to the activities department to learn how they can send videos and pictures for the resident to be able to see here.

And I wanna share one of my favorite stories to tell about with the It's Never Too Late system. We had a female resident here whose granddaughter was getting married, and unfortunately this resident did not do well with environmental change. So her family would really have a hard time taking her out of the building, even if it was just for an hour. And they did not think it would be in the resident’s best interest to take her out to her granddaughter's wedding, but they also didn't want her to miss seeing everything.

So they were actually able to send all of the wedding pictures and videos through the iN2L system, which allowed her to be able to enjoy all of the festivities right here from her own comfort. Staff were able to show her the pictures, and when the family came, they also sat down with her and went through all of the videos and pictures that they had sent. This resident's face lit up when she saw her granddaughter walking down the aisle in the wedding dress. She was so proud of her and showed anyone and everyone her daughter's pictures or her granddaughter's pictures, and just was so happy to be able to be a part of that, even though she wasn't actually there with them.

Paige Mantel: Wow! That is a beautiful story. I love, I love the proud grandmother moment of sharing with everybody her granddaughter's wedding. That's wonderful.

Stephanie Deecher: Thank you.

Paige Mantel: I love that story. I'll invite the audience, anybody who has any questions to ask, feel free to put it in the Q&A window.

Kim, a question for you. Obviously, you have all different types of residents with all different needs. How are you using technology to help with some of the more challenging residents, maybe those that aren't so comfortable in group activities?

Kimberly Greco: Right, yeah, it's definitely, and I know Stephanie has mentioned it, and I mentioned it again. And but the mobility of the system and being able to bring it to them in their space, where they're the most comfortable surrounded by their things, and you know, pictures of their loved ones, and they're just, they're just in their space. We have one resident who really doesn't do well in larger situations. It is a little bit of like a social anxiety almost when she's with too many people for too long. So when we sit down together with her, she'll play the bubble popper game. She loves the trivia and the listening to like some of the music that's on there like The Beatles, and it's so nice to be able to bring that to her all at once, and just see her eyes just smile, and she's laughing, and she's not apologizing for how she is, and she's just, in those moments she's happy, and she is her best self, and she's just engaging wholeheartedly, with no reservation. And it's so nice to see that, and all of the residents, when we do one-on-one time with them with the It's Never Too Late.

Once you find something that they like, it's just they're like totally new people. They just engage in ways that you never, ever see them engage when you're trying to engage a room full of people. Just to see them open up, and just how quick they are with the trivia and just to dance and laugh, and just like, I said, just be their most authentic self without apology, and they don't have to leave their apartments to do with it. Because if they had to, we probably wouldn't get the same reactions from them. So it's really nice to be able to get into their space and see who they really are when they are genuinely happy, and enjoying themselves, enjoying the content and playing the games and the trivia, and just having a good time, you know.

Paige Mantel: Love that! A question came in, how many systems do you have in your facility? And I happen to know, you do an amazing job with how many?

Kimberly Greco: Just the one.

Stephanie Deecher: Just one!

Paige Mantel: Yeah, I mean the ability to that. You have to use that one system to both handle group activities, all of this great one-on-one connection that Kim mentioned; you, I think you might be a power user of that one system, so well done. Well done on that.

Stephanie, question for you. What advice do you have for communities that are looking to roll out LifeLoop or iN2L technology at their communities?

Stephanie Deecher: Yeah, that's a good question. So you know, fear is inevitable with trying new technology, but especially with seniors. I would suggest, start with a small, with a few of the iN2L's most popular programs. Like for us, that bubble popping was huge. And see your residents light up, and then just continue from there. iN2L and the diverse content allows you to meet the residents right where they are cognitively. You'll quickly see what works and what doesn't work for each resident and each group of residents.

And then you're able to really support and engage them throughout the day. We even find that keeping the fish tank screensaver on during the day when we're not using it really helps manage their stress levels and does keep them calm. I had it in my office when we first received the system, and I thought, Oh, my goodness! I would! I would love to just keep it in here and listen to that all day long.

There really are so many pieces of content that you can't go wrong with the system. I highly recommend moving forward and having the confidence that both your staff and your residents will really gain from this technology. And also, you know, as I've said before, technology can be so helpful in getting your new staff trained more quickly. So that's been a huge positive for us in dealing with the turnover.

Paige Mantel: That is great. That is great advice. One more question coming in. So the question is, what training would you suggest for someone who wants to acquire training and using iN2L equipment? I don't easily find time to practice on our one machine. I wanna use our machine.

So I will tell you that there we have a tremendous amount of trainings available. On our website, once you're a customer, we have our LifeLoop University and lots of great training videos. And we also have probably the best education learning and onboarding team in the industry that helps make learning the technology and adopting it quickly, super easy for you. So, we can also follow up with the person that asked that question.

Alright, we're running up to time. This has been such a fabulous conversation. Stephanie and Kim, thank you so much for your time today.

Stephanie Deecher: Yeah, thank you for having us.

Kimberly Greco: Yes, thank you.

Paige Mantel: Absolutely, and thank you to all of our participants for joining us and engaging with us today. Our next webinar will be on April 10th, that's in 2 weeks, with another Communities That Shine winner. That'll be Mount Alverna Village. I hope you all join us for that.

And for those of you that are interested in learning more about the products, I know we don't do demos and things like that on these webinars, but we are more than happy to provide personalized demos to anybody that's interested. You can just let us know by answering the short survey that you'll see when you exit this webinar, and let us know, we'll follow up. Thank you everybody for joining us today. Have a wonderful day!


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