Through the generosity of the Faith Home Foundation, the recreation therapists at the Lutheran Augustana Center
Therapeutic Recreation Department have been able to introduce the senior residents to a fun new form of technology and even help them keep in touch with their family members. Through the foundation, six Kindle tablets and three Telikan touch-screen computers were purchased. The growing use of Kindle tablets at Augustana has been positively received by residents and their family members alike.
While trying to stray away from the traditional stereotypes of “old-fashioned nursing homes,” the therapists at Augustana originally started using the Kindles with long term residents. The handheld tablets have a number of different uses for these seniors. In weekly sessions, they would sit down with the interested residents, aid them in creating email addresses, and communicating with family members and friends. This exercise was met with such enthusiasm, that soon the usage of the Kindle expanded to short term residents who would use the tablets for online games, sports updates and more.
The Kindle program is one of many ways therapists engage with the residents and teach them new skills while embracing innovative forms of technology. Many of these activities have benefited those with Alzheimer’s and dementia by increasing their cognitive and memory abilities. Seen above and at left are residents who used the Kindles as part of a recent activity class. At right is Santos Arroyo, a huge fan of the new Kindles, who enjoys occupying his mind while he plays online games and learns how to communicate with his family in Florida via email.