By Meg LaPorte
You know you’re doing something right when an award-winning memory care program developer wants to put your technology solution in at least a dozen memory care communities his company is building. Such is the case with Senior Housing Forum partner Carextech’s SmileTM solution, a web-based communications management platform that includes activities, documentation, and analytics aimed at enhancing family engagement in a purposeful manner.
“The Smile solution is really exciting because it puts the power in the caregivers’ hands,” says Joshua Freitas, author of The Dementia Concept and a forthcoming children’s book about dementia. As Vice President of Program Development at CERTUS Senior Living, Freitas is partnering with Carextech to integrate Smile into each of its buildings over the next year as the communities open.
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As he and his colleagues build the company’s memory care platform with Smile they visited other communities that use it to find out how effective it has been for their residents and families. “We fell in love with it,” Freitas says, after discovering, among other things, that staff at the other communities have more time with residents versus having to sit in an office compiling calendars for each independent living, memory care, and assisted living community.
“It’s been really great to see how the platform works and how technology has impacted resident engagement and dementia,” he says, noting that it will also be very effective in helping him collect data. “The analytics will help us personalize our programs for our residents and see which programs are working and which ones are not.”
For example, Smile can be configured to display how many falls a resident has had and how often they are participating in activities. “We can also track how much socialization the resident is having,” says Freitas. “And Smile enables the user to collect true data.”
Before using Smile, the caregivers Freitas talked to at other communities said they had to search “all over the place” to find information. “Smile, on the other hand, lets you find that information all in one little tablet in front of them,” he says. “And you don’t have to walk around the community to find out what that resident's favorite hobby was. You have access to it all times.”
Smile also generates calendars in just minutes, helping communities and activities directors manage their wellness programs and recreation more efficiently, according to CarexTech Co-Founder and Notre Dame Professor, Sarv Devaraj, PhD. “The Smile team can help communities brand their own wellness programs and track activities along the dimensions of wellness such as mind, body, and spirit.”
Freitas says that another great thing about Smile is that it enables providers to “cater and individualize” their program offerings and adapt it to other services offered to residents. The Smile team works with its clients to integrate Smile with other programs and platforms.
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