I’m happy to share the following update from Benton County, a Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) demo community…
Through a project called Enriching Lives, Country Manor in Sartell has been broadening the opportunities seniors have to communicate with family and friends, as well as, explore new horizons available via web-based education, entertainment and daily life enrichment.
To kick off the project Country Manor applied for and received funding from Living Connected in Benton County to install six “hotspot” wireless locations across their campus and to purchase seven iPads. This project is enabling their tenants and residents to learn about new technology, to set up email accounts that allow them to stay in touch with family and is providing gaming and reading options for tenants who are introverted.
“We have positive response from our dementia community. Tenants enjoy the wonderful simplicity and vast world of the internet. Emailing to family is part of their weekly program,” said Anthony Fenstad, Director of Housing and Community Services. Fenstad goes on to say, “The biggest impact has been an appreciation for technology and a reduction in fear of the technology.” Fenstad also indicated that the tenants now have a greater interest in purchasing their own hardware to use at their leisure.
Country Manor Campus provides innovative health services and advanced medical care while remaining steadfast to it’s mission of enriching lives. For more information about Country Manor Campus call 320-529-9000 or visit www.countrymanorcampus.org.
Living Connected in Benton County http://www.bentoncountyconnected.org is a project partner in the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities Initiative (MIRC). MIRC is a coalition of 19 statewide partners and 11 demonstration communities funded in large part through an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant. The work of the coalition focuses on bringing the full promise of broadband technologies to rural Minnesota communities, businesses and people. Blandin Foundation serves as the project administrator. More about MIRC is available at www.blandinfoundation.org.