By Darrin J. Cook
When the Covid-19 virus swept through our cities, towns, and villages it single handedly shut down businesses, organizations, suppliers, schools, concerts, and sporting events around the globe. Talk shows moved from studios to living rooms, and many suddenly lost their jobs. The healthcare industry was not immune to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in many cases it was in the virus’s crosshairs. Healthcare facilities, as a whole, were prepared because following guidelines set forth by local, state, and federal officials is something they do every minute of every day. However, attempting to slow the spread through social distancing was seemingly an impossible request, especially in an industry geared toward human interaction and touch. With a strong sense of purpose and resilience, healthcare workers slipped on the gloves, raised the masks, and pushed forward providing the highest level of care under the circumstances. Maplewood Senior Living, in Chardon, wasn’t an exception. Known for its upscale senior living residences including independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing and rehabilitation, Maplewood knew they were equipped to handle the challenges and felt they could do even more to continue providing interactive experiences for the residents.
With communities in multiple states, including Ohio and more specifically one right here in Geauga County, Maplewood Senior Living had the resources to introduce a unique approach to resident care. An approach that offered an opportunity to communicate with loved ones without the use of complicated devices. An approach that went above and beyond the requirements. The approach was none other than Temi robots. “At Maplewood Senior Living, we were planning on launching the robots at our soon-to-be-open location in Manhattan. However, once social distancing was put in place, we decided to expedite the robots to all of our locations to help residents cope with social isolation and provide them with as much comfort as possible in these uncertain times.
While the robots do not replace human interaction, they certainly help residents feel more connected” said Adena McGowan, Memory Care Director at Maplewood Senior Living Cuyahoga Falls location. Maplewood is the first senior living facility to utilize Temi technology, and they are also a first to implement the use of Eversound headsets for residents in a senior living setting. Live lectures, bingo, and book clubs are just a few of the activities performed with the headsets. VR (Virtual Reality) is also part of the rotation, allowing residents to “tour the world”. It seems to be that technological advancement plays an important role in the Maplewood Senior Living business model.
Maplewood understands that lifting the spirits of residents is vital and the robots have proven to be a tremendous tool in accomplishing this. McGowan said “The robots provide a real functionality to normalizing daily life, but the real benefit we are seeing is their ability to lift the spirits of the residents. We see our residents dance to the music Temi plays, laugh along with its jokes, and utilize the video chat function to see family members that are temporarily not able to visit.” She went on to say “Temi robots allow residents to more frequently video chat with families, doctors, and the internal care teams. They also deliver packages to residents’ rooms and residents are learning how to train them to do other tasks such as picking up items from the dining room or telling a joke. One resident in Ohio trained the robot to be his gardening assistant – asking Temi real-time information on how to plant asparagus and learning about the growth cycle.” In order for the Temi to complete certain functions it needs to be programmed and trained by a staff member, although it should be noted that the Temi can perform some programming and training on its own. Once the robot is trained to navigate the community, it can be told to deliver a package to a certain location and be able to find its way without any human supervision or additional instruction. The Temi robots are compatible with all iOS and Android devices. For example, when using Alexa as Temi’s voice assistant, devices compatible with Alexa will work with Temi (ex. Philips Hue). Impressive.
When it comes to providing health care the robots step aside to allow for doctors and nurses to administer medications to perform regularly scheduled duties that require the human touch. However, Temi robots will deliver hand sanitizer and serve snacks and drinks at happy hour.
Although the robots have created an entertaining environment, Maplewood Senior Living, as technologically advanced as they are, recognizes that human interaction is paramount in the day to day operations of the communities. Their focus has always been to ensure residents receive the highest level of care for the mind, body, and spirit. Something only human to human interaction can accomplish.
If you are interested in learning more about Temi robots you can visit www.robotemi.com. Here you will find all of the details and specs as well as an app store that provides additional content that is downloadable for the Temi to digest. If you would like to find out more about Maplewood Senior Living you can visit www.maplewoodseniorliving.com and enjoy a comprehensive website with a wealth of information about all of the communities. Three of the communities are located within an hour of Middlefield; Maplewood at Cuyahoga Falls, Maplewood at Twinsburg, and Maplewood at Chardon. Hours, phone, and address can all be found on their website. If you are unable to visit them on the web you are welcome to reach out to their Chardon community by calling 440-332-4640. A friendly staff member can help answer any questions you have about any of the communities and offer assistance with scheduling a tour. You might just meet a Temi Robot.