Helping Seniors Reconnect with Smart Technology

March 19, 2020


As we grow older, it’s possible to start feeling out of touch with the world around us. The team at The Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW) is on a mission to fight this by helping seniors reconnect with smart technology. This small innovation team within a larger community of retirement and affordable housing communities uses a unique human-centered approach towards care.

As innovators in their field, the organization set out to investigate how consumer technologies could be used to combat feelings of loneliness and social isolation in retirement communities. When they came across Nanoleaf at CES in 2019, they knew they had found the perfect solution. The Front Porch Center has created a high-tech “sensory room,” where residents can go to calm anxieties, stress, and agitation or stimulate energy, focus, and socialization. In addition to Nanoleaf Light Panels and Canvas, the room features an aromatherapy diffuser, 65” smart HDTV, Voice First technology (voice control), and a variety of other tactile objects. 

All of these elements come together to create an immersive multi-sensory experience that transforms the room into a safe space for residents. They can feel as if they’re walking through a peaceful, lush forest, or sitting beachside – seeing, feeling, and hearing the ocean breeze and waves crashing around them.

As an added tactile element, residents and staff can use the 12-sided Nanoleaf Remote as a simple and intuitive controller for the Light Panels and Canvas, and other smart home devices in the room. One flip of the Remote can instantly transform the room from a dim glowing purple to a tranquil turquoise scene.  

Traditionally used for mood and behavior regulation in pediatric care for Autism and other developmental disabilities, multisensory approaches like sensory rooms are just as important for older adults to help alleviate pain, anxiety and stress. They are especially effective for symptoms of dementia, helping to calm and prepare residents for meaningful participation in daily activities.

The custom color settings and flexible layout of the Nanoleaf Light Panels allow The Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing to captivate their residents and empower them to reconnect with the world around them.

“The impact of Nanoleaf products go far beyond visual aesthetics, but rather, serve as a meaningful tool that complements a whole solution platform for engagement between caregivers and residents.” (Jennifer Lee from FPCIW)

Being able to respond to the ever-changing needs of the aging demographic with customized and innovative solutions is a fundamental part of the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing’s multifaceted approach to care. Social engagement and self-empowerment are at the core of the work that they do, with technology being used as a tool to reach their goals. Increasing social engagement and empowering independence are central to their belief that everyone should have fulfilling and healthy lives – especially well into their later years.

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