Part of Company’s “iPads to Go” Program to Teach Those in Its Care

12 March 2018

For Bernice Douglas, using an iPad to play Miniclip Eight Ball Pool is more than entertainment. It is how the 51-year-old former professional pool player conquered her anxiety after injuries from a fall left her with a broken neck. Tackling new technology wasn’t on her agenda when she moved into Brookdale South Port Square for short-term rehabilitation, but powering up proved to be a key to emotional healing.

“I had never used an iPad until I moved into Brookdale South Port Square,” said Douglas. “I found it to relieve my stress. Being able to play pool helped me to relax.”

Douglas learned to use the iPad as part of Brookdale’s “iPads to Go” program, in which resident program associates introduce residents and patients to iPads, lend them devices, and recommend apps and content related to their individual interests. Brookdale, the nation’s largest senior living provider, launched the tech program in the spring of 2016. Since then, it has gained a popular following. In addition to teaching senior living residents and skilled nursing and rehabilitation patients a new skill, it helps with relaxation and anxiety.

“I saw a huge transformation in Bernice,” said Sara Voorhees, Brookdale South Port Square associate, who taught Douglas how to use the iPad. “It helped her relax and she started coming out of her shell.”

Douglas quickly picked up the iPad and started playing Miniclip Eight Ball and other online pool games. “I love playing pool. I could play it on the iPad all day every day.”

Douglas, a Massachusetts native, played professional pool for 10 years. She learned the game by watching patrons around the table in the bar her husband owned in New Hampshire. “I picked up a stick and was off and running,” she said. Nine years later, she turned pro and competed nationally for prizes as high as $250,000. “The most I ever won was $100,000, which I personally won for my team in a team competition,” said Douglas, who has three grown children and six grandchildren.

Douglas came to the short-term rehabilitation center in Port Charlotte, Fla. after surgery for the broken neck, which she sustained when she tripped over a curb. The injury left her with limited use of her hands and feet, changing the direction of her life and causing significant anxiety. The iPad transformed her daily experience.

“The iPad is entertaining, it occupied my mind and that kept me calm,” Douglas said. “It prevented me from thinking about my situation and all the problems I faced.”

Carol Cummings, senior director of resident and family engagement at Brookdale, said: “The ‘iPads to Go’ success reinforces our person-centered care practices, in which we base approaches on what matters most to each individual. It also reinforces our commitment to providing residents with dignity and independence by offering tools that allow them to help care for themselves. This is a great example of how technology is advancing health and wellness in unexpected and wonderful ways.”

For more information on Brookdale, visit brookdale.com.

About Brookdale

Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is the leading operator of senior living communities throughout the United States.  The Company is committed to providing senior living solutions primarily within properties that are designed, purpose-built and operated to provide the highest-quality service, care and living accommodations for residents.  Brookdale operates independent living, assisted living, and dementia-care communities and continuing care retirement centers, with approximately 1,031 communities in 46 states and the ability to serve approximately 101,000 residents as of September 30, 2017.  Through its ancillary services program, the Company also offers a range of outpatient therapy, home health and hospice services.  Brookdale’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BKD.

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