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'Tis the (tech) season

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What kind of technology do senior residents crave?  We talked with residents at two previous OPTIMA Award-winning providers to see what tech tools top their lists. We hope that Santa’s elves (as well as resident activity directors, memory care directors, IT directors and administrators) are listening.

First, we enlisted the help of Linda Hart, Director of Public Relations at Eliza Jennings, whose mission was to ask residents at The Renaissance Retirement Campus in Olmsted Twp., Ohio, what technology they wish they had.

Lots of responses were about staying connected and interacting with other people. Rose Lombardo, 74, wants to be able to Skype with her 2-year-old grandson in Arizona, and she wishes she had a smart phone so she could search the Internet. Don Lee, 75, is a fan of the card game Hearts and would like an app that would allow him to play with other people online.

Emily Hunter, 88, is already rather tech-savvy. She has a Facebook account, an email account and an iPad. She also makes flyers for the community bulletin board and prints recipes to share with the Resident Council Dining Committee.  Like many busy people, she would like a program that would provide automated calendar and event reminders to help her stay organized.

Entertainment tops the wish list of Vic Ambrosino, 62. He would like a laptop so that he could watch concerts, either on video or via live-streaming. And he’s not talking about the orchestra—some of his favorite bands are The Doors, Aerosmith and AC/DC. Maybe he’ll need some headphones, too.

Meanwhile, we asked Elvin Marmol, a 15-year resident of Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Briarwood, N.Y., to serve as our “roving reporter” and find out what his fellow residents crave in terms of tech tools.

He wrote the following:

“While making rounds it was unanimous that technology gadgets are the way to go. They drive many aspects of our lives today, so why not for nursing home patients as well? There is a common theme among my fellow residents: the desire to be connected. Even while in a sub-acute long-term care facility, we still want to connect because it gives a feeling of very little separating us all.

It is frequently talked about and now studied how all our gadgets are separating humanity from real conversations. Strangely, I am convinced in a nursing home the opposite is true. As many of you know a resident may get visitors several times a week if lucky. For a large number of them the visits are more like once a month or even a handful of times a year. Technology opens the doors to the outside world. Being able to contact an old friend and grandchildren is possible today more frequently than for past nursing home residents.

Get ready, Santa, for the Silvercrest residents’ wish list:

     For Philip Fiorito, 64, a laptop with a webcam and disk player. His daughter lives in another state and cannot visit often, the webcam lets him talk and see both the daughter and new grandson. He can watch movies and also keep track of his favorite sports team.

     Tyheth Humbert, 42, a pastor and elder at his church, wants the newest Photoshop to help manage his church's website. 


Pamela Tabar


Pamela Tabar



Pamela Tabar is editor-in-chief of I Advance Senior Care. She has worked as a writer...