One of the greatest compliments a user or client can pay your product is to powerfully adapt it to a use case that you had not considered, and that is exactly what the innovative team at the Summer House at Villa Gardens has done with The Memory Kit. We created our app to enable families, friends and caregivers to connect by telling the story of their loved one's life -- to collect, save and share their best memories together. Not long after we released the product I was contacted by Katherine Kennedy, manager of the Summer House, who asked, "Couldn't we use The Memory Kit for our entire memory care community?"
"How would that work?" Her vision was that she and her team could use The Memory Kit to capture moments throughout the day, and invite the families of the residents, and their caregivers, to connect with their loved one’s daily lives at the Summer House. To say we thought it was a great idea is an understatement, and we immediately created a customized Memory Kit for the Summer House.
Katherine and her team went to work, and with the leadership and support of Front Porch Executive Director Dmitry Estrin, set up a special family night to launch the Summer House Community Memory Kit program. Attendance was great, and everyone showed up with their iPhones and iPads, eager to learn, explore, and set up their memory kits. Here are some of the things we heard when we finished our walk-through and demo:
“This is the best thing I have ever seen to help our community.”
- Ed, not-easy-to-impress techie and Vietnam veteran.
“I have family members that live out of state and this is a great way to let them see how mom is doing day to day. I also have a brother who lives here, but he doesn’t visit because it’s too hard for him. Maybe being able to sit with mom and look at her Memory Kit will make it possible for him to visit.”
-Wendy, schoolteacher and self-professed non-techie.
“The Memory Kit makes it so easy for caregivers to learn about the residents in their care, and to connect with them as individuals.”
-Rebecca, consultant to the senior care world.
Today, the Summer House team updates their Memory Kit throughout each day, and loved ones both near and far away can "drop in" and see what's happening via the app, It keeps them feeling close and in touch, and also encourages more visits!
Dmitry, Katherine and their team are a part of an organization that is committed to using the best technologies to improve the quality of life for their residents, and to support their families. Kudos to the Front Porch for being on the front line of innovation, and for inviting us to be a part of it!
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