Benevilla was recently awarded a $17,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to adopt a new technology software program called Memory Lane Games, to further improve the quality of life of their program members. A personalized “reminiscence” platform, it enhances cognitive stimulation and provides an entertaining and therapeutic experience to individuals living with dementia.

“Benevilla is doing great work in our community for those living with dementia and their families,” says Thunderbirds Charities President Pat Williams. “This new technology will provide another way for families to engage and connect with their loved ones in a meaningful way.”

Benevilla has three dementia centered Life Enrichment Day programs: Lucy Anne’s Place on the Benevilla main campus for members with light to moderate levels of dementia, Mary’s Place in Sun City for members with moderate to advance levels of dementia, and West Valley Life Enrichment located in Peoria. Entertainment, education, games, creative aging, crafts, gardening, community outings, and exercise fill the daily agenda of the three programs. Members are involved and help direct their daily activities. Indoor and outdoor spaces offer inviting opportunities for group activities or private time, just like home.

Memory Lane Games supports the Benevilla care mission of enriching lives in several ways. It promotes person-centered care, encourages a sense of self, and supports and reinforces personal history and interests. This new software improves family connections, creating engagements which are meaningful and joyful for everyone and provides personalized family reporting. Caregivers like the system as it calms and distracts agitated individuals so therapeutic or medical care can be provided.

“They love the questions, photos, and ease of use. The layout and text are colorful yet simple. Each quiz is short and has no time limits which is perfect for them,” says the caregiver of a loved one with dementia.

The grant will provide application access for 40 program members across the three Benevilla Life Enrichment programs. Specifically, the grant support will pay for monthly memberships, the purchase of iPads for the programs, and the application training for staff and family members.
“Benevilla would like to thank Thunderbird Charities for their support of this exciting new program,” says Benevilla Senior Director of Enrichment Lisa Minette. “Through their kindness, not only will our members benefit from using Memory Lane Games, but our families will be blessed with a more positive experience working with their loved ones with dementia.”

A simple, yet sophisticated user interface, the application can be used on a dedicated iPad to upload personal photos or be customized with a specific topic or location with corresponding information (e.g., 1950s, music of the ’60s, a specific hometown, TV shows, or movies). In addition, the application can be used by members at one of the program locations and at home as well on their personal devices. In some cases, the interface can be life changing. For example, an elderly gentleman in a memory care setting had been nonverbal for three years. After introducing the Memory Lane Games, with customized music for his age and era, he started singing along with the songs.

For more information about the Benevilla Life Enrichment Day programs or to see the Memory Lane Games platform in action, call 623-584-4999.