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New i-Pads engage residents at Muncy skilled nursing unit

By Staff | Feb 25, 2014

Gail Lowe, a volunteer, Joyce Sullenberger, a resident, and Cassie Neidig, activities coordinator like to spend time looking at photos and doing puzzles on the new mobile devices that were donated by the Montgomery Legion and Muncy VFW.

MUNCY – These days I-pads aren’t showing up just in classrooms, but also in hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. The working tool has proven useful for many reasons according to Cassie Neidig, Activities Associate Coordinator at the Muncy Skile Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

“It is really helping with the patients,” she said. “They can connect with families on Facebook and Skype someone who lives out of the area,” explained Neidig. “It also generates good discussions among the group.”

During activity time some of the residents enjoy spending time on the mobile devices. With Wi-Fi available in the building, they can look at family photos or go onto one of the social apps like Skype or FaceTime and be able to see a loved one. “It is touching to see them talk in person,” said Neidig.

Gail Lowe, a volunteer, likes to use the i-pad when she visits Joyce Sullenberger. “Some of the i-pads can circulate in the rooms also for those who don’t get out much,” Lowe added.

The two i-pads were purchased in December with funds donated from the Montgomery Legion and the Muncy VFW and include covers, the applications and keyboards. They are always kept fully charged and available to the residents.

Jessica Chilson, a resident at the Muncy Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, is working with Barb William a volunteer aid using an i-pad to play interactive games to build eye and hand coordination.

“We have 30 to 40 residents that like to use them,” Neidig said and three aids volunteer their time working with the residents one on one. Lowe said she has a patient who likes to read the grocery flyers, another likes to listen to music, someone puts a virtual puzzle together and one resident likes to bowl. “They are so handy.” Word games are popular too, building cognitive recognition skills. Some like to sit back and watch an episode from their favorite TV program.

Neidig said she is hoping the department will add an interactive TV component so the mobile devices can be connected to the flat screen television. This will allow the patients to view whatever they are working on from the devices to a much larger screen.

“The i-pads are giving us knowledge at our fingertips,” directed Nedig. “And they can be calming and soothing. We try not to give them more than 2 hours a day. They keep our people active in a way we never had to before,” she replied. “One day we had a crazy photo day using the Photo Booth app, and one resident said, ‘It’s a miracle.’ “