After seeing how valuable a tool an iPad could be for the residents who owned one, the staff at Aroostook Health Center were able to invest in a few additional iPads for residents to use.

Thanks to a generous donation by the Mars Hill Rotary Club, that number of iPads has now increased, giving even more residents access to the internet and the ability to play games and puzzles.

TAMC

Historically, technology has changed the way we conduct our lives; from the advent of electricity and the automobile, to the telephone and the internet. Everything keeps getting smaller, and thanks to social media, that includes our world. Thankfully, a lot of new technology is also very user-friendly and the staff at Aroostook Health Center (AHC) in Mars Hill is taking important steps in making it available to their residents.

Access to this technology is a real asset in more ways than one, according to Vicki Jackson, activities specialist.

They are believed to help improve motor skills, provide memory stimulation and cognitive function and create a positive impact on the social interaction of those with and without dementia,” she explained of the games and puzzles.

There is a renewed sense of adventure that comes with the ability to easily access information.  “I helped a resident who is 90 years old find pictures of her home town. She told me stories about her life. It was really interesting – like listening to a book with some pictures to go with it,” she said.

One aspect that the general public often takes for granted these days is social media. There is a potentially enormous positive impact that is possible with sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Jackson says,

One lady, who is 94, wanted to use the iPad to connect with her grandchildren that she had never seen in South Carolina. She was so thrilled to actually see them.”

The residents that have tablets are also very active in the offered activity programs available at AHC, they are not replacing them with electronics.  Jackson says,

One lady, who is 92, used to paint pictures that are displayed in our facility. She’s now doing puzzles on her iPad and she said it’s like she’s painting a picture. She loves it.”

One resident with an overflowing positive outlook on life and a magical sense of humor said, “I check the obituaries daily on my tablet and if I’m not there…I can go to bingo.”

The iPads are even increasing the social interactions of some residents. For instance, instead of watching a movie in their room, they take the iPad to a friend’s room or the solarium and watch it there.

Though it’s just the beginning, the staff at The Aroostook Health Center believes that having easy access to your loved ones via social media and staying in touch with how they’re living their lives is the most important result of the implementation of new technology.