Legend Senior Living® is honored to receive a top industry honor for innovative programming in senior living. Argentum, a national trade association for senior living companies, has presented Legend® with the Best of the Best Award for its PARO seal program in memory care. This is the fifth such award Legend® has received.
PARO, whose name comes from a Japanese abbreviation of “personal robot,” is an FDA-approved therapeutic robotic seal. Its sensors detect light, sound, touch, posture and temperature, and respond to human interaction much like a living creature would. It can even learn to respond to its name. Research shows that petting and interacting with this biofeedback seal helps reduce stress and depression in people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Legend® founder and CEO Tim Buchanan, along with COO Chris Mahen, accepted the award Wednesday, May 3, at Argentum’s Senior Living Executive Conference in Nashville.
“We are pleased to offer this alternative approach as a therapy for residents with dementia,” Mahen said. “The published clinical studies that we participated in produced very promising results in reducing depression and anxiety with the use of the PARO seal as a therapy.”
PARO works through neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt by forming new neural pathways. Certain stimuli, such as interaction with a PARO device, help form those neural pathways so the brain can reconnect old memories and build new ones. Just as exercising a muscle helps build new tissue, exercising the mind helps build the brain.
Studies have shown PARO is a viable alternative to psychotropic medications, which can pose an increased risk of falls, fractures and stroke for seniors. Participating in three PARO biofeedback sessions per week allows some people to reduce their dose of these medications – and in some cases, forgo them altogether.