Our innovation team is comprised of residents, staff, family members and students who work together using Design Thinking to come up with new ideas and test new technologies. Many ideas that begin in the Eskaton Innovation Lab are developed and implemented to enhance the well-being of the staff and older adults we support.
The Well-Being Project was a 2-year long project challenging the stigma surrounding dementia and exploring how to support well-being. Working collaboratively with Live Well, a non-profit provider in Connecticut, Eskaton re-imagined a future where differences are embraced and all persons’ regardless of physical and cognitive abilities can flourish. The project include employees, family members and residents living with dementia and explored innovative ways and approaches to better enhance the seven domains of well-being: identify, connectedness, security, autonomy, meaning, growth and joy.
Approximately one in three adults over 65 are living with hearing loss. The inability to hear clearly makes connecting and engaging more challenging, often leading to feelings of loneliness or isolation. Eskaton partnered with Eversound to test headphones that act as a sound amplifier to enhance sound clarity. The headphones have been used in art classes, resident council and book club. Residents and staff feel more connected and engaged during programs and residents are living at full volume.
Music has a transformative ability to enhance the way people feel. Music has been shown to improve one’s emotional and physical health. Eskaton partnered with SingFit to integrate not only music into the fabric of daily life but also movement. SingFit brings together residents and incorporates both singing and movement, which provides mind-body workout. Facilitators take residents on a journey with a special curated playlist, which has been specifically designed my certified music therapists.
Eskaton resident, Marilyn Hoffman, wrote a letter asking if there was a belt available on the market that could be wore to protect the hips in the case of a fall. After searching Eskaton partnered with Tango Belt, to design and test an early concept of a hip protection belt. Residents worked collaboratively with designers and engineers to user test prototypes over 2+ years. This resident-led initiative began with the desire to reduce the risk of fall-related injury. Early testers reported a decrease in fear of falling and feel more empowered to take walks and exercise.
Residents living with some form of cognitive change are 4X more likely to fall. Often residents living with cognitive change are unable to communicate why he/she fell or whether their head made contact with the ground. With limited information many residents are admitted to the ER as a precaution. ER visits are both disruptive and traumatic for anyone, especially someone living with dementia. Eskaton partnered with SafelyYou to provide additional information to team members about why and how the fall occurred. This innovative AI technology has enabled teams to make better educated decisions with residents and family members about whether an ER visit is needed.
Eskaton and Dignity Health entered into a partnership and piloted a fall prevention program for nearly 100 community-dwelling older adults. The program included access to care coordination services, an in-home fall risk assessment, and bi-weekly balance classes. The program measured fall-risk, fear of falling, lower-body strength, flexibility and balance at pre and post assessments to validate the program. Results showed significant reductions in fall risk and fear of falling and enhancements in quality of life.
Creating livable environments that are accessible to people of all abilities is the goal of Eskaton’s smart home automation Eskaton partnered with Stack and K4 Connect to integrate smart sensor technology into residential living apartments using every day devices such as lights and thermostats. Not only are the enhancements energy efficient but they provide residents with the control to customize their living experience. Features include: adjusting the brightness of lights, setting their perfect temperature on their thermostat and set the lights to day or night mode.
Eskaton Longevity Explorers shared the desire for a community APP. Their vision for the APP was to provide easy access to community information and their peers. Eskaton partnered with K4 Connect to offer Eskaton Connect, a community app that links residents to family, friends and community life. The features of the app include: a directory with resident photos, community photos, menu, events and the ability to connect with family members. Eskaton Connect also provides a family app that makes it simple to connect with family living at Eskaton, check the menu and view the events.
Every person wants control over their environment and the most natural way of interacting is through voice. Creating a fully livable environment must include a voice assistant to ensure all persons’ regardless of physical abilities are empowered to interact with their home. Eskaton partnered with K4 Connect to make voice assistance a reality to residents living at Eskaton Village Roseville. They are the first assisted living community to fully deploy Alexa. Residents now can use their voice to adjust their lights and thermostat, call the front desk, ask for the day’s events and menu.