Legend Advances Memory Care Therapy At The Province of Southampton with Award-Winning Biofeedback Technology

April 25th, 2023 | Press Releases

Shortly after assuming operations of The Province of Southampton Personal Care and Memory Care, Legend Senior Living has introduced its advanced memory care therapy with the PARO Seal robotic interactive companion, an award-winning innovation that Legend has adopted in several of its residences. Legend is the only memory care provider in the region employing the technology. 

As part of Legend's comprehensive memory care programming and therapy aimed at tangible results for those with dementia, the PARO Seal has shown great success in calming fear and anxiety, improving socialization, combating depression and loneliness, and reducing the use of psychotropic drugs. To put it simply, the cuddly, lifelike baby seal with an artificially intelligent brain produces the dopamine-and-serotonin-boosting effects of medication combined and animal companion therapy with none of the side effects or inconveniences.

"We were eager to bring PARO Seal to The Province as soon as possible," said Chris Mahen, Legend's Chief Operating Officer. "It's highly sophisticated technology but very easy to implement, and the residents embrace it immediately. It's a favorite among caregivers and families because it's a non-pharmacological treatment that produces astounding results."

Of course, "PARO Seal" as a name doesn't reflect their little pal's friendly, cuddly nature. So, in what has become a tradition among all Legend residences with the technology - naming the PARO Seal - The Province Memory Care residents and associates collaborated to name their new pet: Snowflake.

Ten years ago, the little robot pet might have been considered novel therapy. Today, it's regarded as excellent medicine. The key is artificial intelligence (AI). Snowflake has an amazing array of sensors that allow it to respond to touch, light, sound, and position. It can recognize its name and gestures of greetings or praise. It even knows when it's being petted to encourage positive behavior. Snowflake responds as if it is alive, moving its head and legs, making sounds, and showing the user's preferred behavior, even imitating the voice of an actual baby harp seal.

"People want to know why a harp seal, an animal few have seen up close," explained Mahen. "That's exactly the point. Residents with dementia may have a fear of dogs or cats or a past association that can sadden them. The PARO program brings all the benefits of animal therapy, which is quite effective, without the concerns."

Mahen pointed out the many surprising benefits of PARO therapy, such as reducing resident and caregiver stress, reducing wandering and fall risk, stimulating interaction with caregivers and other residents, focusing attention, and strengthening brain health. 

The Province Memory Care will benefit from the entire complement of programming and therapy standards in Legend's Memory Care residences. Professional Associates rely on the Best Friends Approach™ to Dementia Therapy, an empathetic approach that emphasizes identifying with the resident to understand and address their challenges. Parallel Programming introduces the resident to programming and activity at their particular acuity level for the best results. The use of neuroplasticity, the principle by which the brain creates neuropathways for itself, can foster new memory creation and improved cognition.

The PARO Seal has earned the following awards:

  • Best of the Best by Argentum, a senior living trade organization
  • PC Magazine Best of Comdex
  • Service Award at the Japanese government’s Robot Awards
  • Innovation Delivery Award at New Zealand’s Aged Care Association