Chatham Square Association

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Mary Wade Uses Technology to Engage Seniors

For Immediate Release

Mary Wade Uses Technology to Engage Seniors 

Whole Person Approach uses tech in effective therapy


New Haven, CT, August 2, 2019 :  Older adults over the age of 75 are using technology to connect in more ways than email.  At Mary Wade, they are using technology to improve memory and explore creative therapies. 


Mary Wade's Therapeutic Recreation Department is responsible for creating individualized programs to improve the quality of life for each resident.   Headed by certified recreational therapist Tiffany Burnham, the staff offers activities that provide meaning, purpose and value to each resident.  Therapists use the Whole Person Approach to daily living to learn about each resident's preferences, hobbies, talents, spiritual and emotional needs to create an individualized therapeutic program.


Mary Wade's Whole Person Approach is unique to the industry. 


“We take time to learn about each resident and their interests - past, present and future. Then, we carefully design programming that offers a variety of activities to enhance their quality of life based on those interests”, stated Tiffany Burnham, Director of Therapeutic Recreation.


The key tool used to support this programming is It’s Never 2 Late (iN2L), which allows any resident with an interest in using a computer to be successful at Mary Wade.


 Monthly calendars are strategically created with iN2L programs and other activities that connect to the residents therapeutic programming. The iN2L offers a full range  of activities to engage a resident or a group of residents in meaningful ways such as major league websites, music and karaoke, tai chi and tennis, brain games, family feud, graphic arts, spirituality and religion, Google earth, news and history, and more.


You can find Mary Wade’s residents and their families using iN2L programs throughout the day. 


“I enjoy playing chess on the big screen.  It keeps me alert and my brain working which is a good thing,” admitted one of the residents.


“We used the iN2L to get us to Google Earth to bring Dad back to Italy where he was born and raised. He went from being very upset, to smiling and being so happy,” said a family member whose father suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Whole Person Approach effectively provides the right therapy to each individual. 


“You have to really understand each individual and their needs to make a difference.  The iN2l system has been a huge part of responding effectively to so many of our residents,” added Burnham.


“We learn as much as we can about our residents, their likes – their dislikes, what their hobbies are. We incorporate these elements into their life now so they feel like they have purpose and are appreciated,” stated Maria Olmo, Care Coordinator of Mary Wade

Overlapping missions of both Mary Wade and iN2L have helped to make the partnership strong. 

“iN2L gives our staff the tools they need to connect with our residents and provide the high level of care Mary Wade is known for. Whether a resident participates in a group or an independent activity, iN2L has contributed to their quality of life,” stated Stan DeCosta, Executive Director of Mary Wade

Jack York, the founder of iN2L, will visit Mary Wade in September to celebrate the software’s 20th anniversary and to demonstrate new applications.


“Since 1999, iN2L has been driven to improve the lives of older adults living in senior living communities through engaging technology, we’ve particularly focused on individuals living with dementia.  Our success has 100% been driven by the passionate, creative staff that work in the communities we serve, and no organization exemplifies that passion more than Mary Wade,” says York. 



About Mary Wade:   Founded in 1866, Mary Wade is a senior care community serving New Haven County.  Mary Wade provides long term skilled nursing, short term rehab, adult day care, and a residential care home for older adults in need.  The mission at Mary Wade is to provide those in need with the highest quality medical and social programs, as well as supervised residential services in order to promote their individual abilities in a traditional, dignified and comfortable community of caring.  For more information, visit

About It’s Never 2 Late (iN2L):  Founded in 1999, is dedicated to helping older adults realize the full benefits of today’s technology. iN2L integrates the hardware, software, media and various components necessary to allow virtually any person with any interest in using a computer — regardless of background, physical or intellectual abilities — to do so pleasurably, engagingly, and without frustration. The system is built on a picture-based, touch-screen interface that allows users to simply “touch” their way to find engaging, educational, spiritual and personalized content that is appropriate to their own level of ability. From using e-mail and web cams to connect with family and friends, to enjoying mind-stimulating activities, to improving hand-eye coordination as part of a rehabilitation program, elders with a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities, most of whom have never used a computer, are now enjoying technology using systems adapted especially for them. For more information, go to 

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