Case Study: Western Home Communities and It’s Never 2 Late

Center Post

Western Home Communities, a LeadingAge member in Cedar Falls, IA, selected CAST Supporter It's Never 2 Late (iN2L) to help it improve care and quality of life for residents with dementia. 

In particular, the organization was looking for ways to address residents’ behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in a non-pharmacological manner.

Western Home Communities is now using iN2L’s technology-driven engagement tools at the organization’s Martin Health Center. Eleven of the 48 health center residents have a dementia diagnosis and receive “PRN antipsychotics” to treat their BPSD symptoms. 

PRN antipsychotics are medications administered on an “as-needed” basis.

The community’s goals for the partnership with iN2L were 3-fold: 

  • To decrease resident use of antipsychotic medications.
  • To help residents with dementia remain alert, engaged and involved with their families.
  • To reduce medication-related costs for Medicare and beneficiaries.

Technology Implementation and Outcomes

To help Western Home Communities meet these goals, It’s Never 2 Late provided a computer system that offers person-centered recreational and leisure activities for all residents living at Martin Health Center.

In addition, staff and volunteers use the system as a non-pharmaceutical intervention to engage residents with BPSD in games, television shows, calming sounds, music or spiritual content that meets their unique needs and interests. Families are also encouraged to stay connected with their loved ones through Skype, email and other Internet services.

iN2L delivers its engaging content to Martin Health Center residents with help from 4 Mobile FLEX-Mobility systems. Each system consists of a 23” touch-screen computer on an electric, height-adjustable stand. The units come with an articulating arm for flexible screen positioning, a hand-bike simulator, a flight simulator controlled by a joystick, and a music maker.

After initial training on the iN2L system, nurse managers and leisure services staff at Martin Health Center recommend the programming they think would best support each resident receiving PRN antipsychotic medications. Staff and volunteers then work with those residents to use the iN2L system.

So far, the community has seen a 50% reduction in the number of residents requiring PRN antipsychotics and a 20% reduction in the total number of PRN antipsychotic medication doses given to all residents.

More Information

Read the full Case Study to find out about lessons learned during the technology implementation and advice that Western Home Communities has for other providers.