StoryPoint Senior Living Chesterton is always looking for ways to make the lives of both their senior residents and loyal employees better. One way StoryPoint achieves this is through less automation and technological advancements for interfacing with residents, and more face-to-face contact. Through their programming, residents are offered several opportunities for fun games, demonstrations, and socializing throughout each day to encourage them to get away from the screen.
“We try to create an experience every single moment possible of every day,” said Tonya Carter, Life Enrichment Director at StoryPoint. “In order to do that we really need to be spending one-on-one time with the residents.”
At StoryPoint, they don’t just send an email to new residents filled with information—they take the time to greet them and walk them through the process of what the StoryPoint schedule looks like.
“There’s always a leader who is connected with them,” Carter said. “It goes back to engaging with all of your senses and not just focusing on your laptop or iPad.”
Residents can come to any of the activities throughout the day as often or as little as they would like. They’re encouraged to attend any or all of StoryPoint’s book clubs, chicken soup socials, crafts, or cooking demonstrations to really get to know their neighbors and staff.
“We’re creating that connection, and it’s not through any automation because cognitively you’re going to see an increase in function,” Carter said. “We’re just re-engaging those senses through bringing back memories of important things to them.”
It’s all about reminding the residents of the good ol’ days through music, smells, and activities alike that will allow them to keep their memory sharp for years to come.
“We’re purposefully looking at how can we make individuals happy, and how can we connect them to having an exceptional experience every possible second,” Carter said. “We know it’s not possible to be happy all the time, but is there an opportunity when they look for something to engage in.”
Of course, residents have TVs and phones and computers. Removing technology completely is not the idea—it’s just about using those items in smarter and wiser ways that enhance the residents’ quality of life, and not letting technology be the only thing residents engage with for activity.
“In a world where everyone is so used to things being fast paced and instant gratification, that’s not what we’re about here,” Carter said. “We’re really about creating human connections and experiences amongst not just the residents but the staff, and I think that makes all the difference.”
Residents have responded well to StoryPoint Senior Living’s program. One resident even told Carter’s boss that “she needs a bigger budget” because of all the amazing activities she plans.
For more information go to, www.storypoint.com.