Residents playing Obie for Seniors game

A Fairfax, VA, continuing care retirement community is among the first in the nation to use an interactive gaming system with microchip-based technology designed to improve the quality of life for older adults.

The Virginian is using the Obie for Seniors technology by EyeClick of Israel, which projects interactive games onto any surface, including tabletops, floors and walls. The system  originally was developed for early childhood education and is now being adapted for use with older adults. 

The gaming system is designed to encourage active play through touch, movement and hand-eye coordination. Sensors identify movements and offer a suite of games to meant to enhance movement, cognition and social interaction.

The system uses “Nana” Technology, adopted for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Andrew Carle, executive director at The Virginian, coined the term in 2004. Carle is lead instructor and founder of the concentration in senior living administration program at the Georgetown University Program in Aging & Health. He also has served as a consultant or adviser to companies interested in developing technologies for older adults. 

Obie for Seniors was piloted by nearly two dozen senior living facilities in fall 2020 that provided data on the impact on residents. According to an EyeClick survey of senior living unit managers, directors, activities specialists and registered nurses in communities that piloted the technology, 94% reported general improvements in residents, 85% reported an improvement in social behaviors, 88% reported cognitive improvements, and 97% reported significant improvement in movement among residents.

“Senior care staff have let us know they have observed an improvement in residents’ social behavior, cognitive stimulation and movement, with 94% reporting that residents experience a positive increase in well-being after engaging with its interactive games,” EyeClick founder and CEO Ariel Almos said.

The Virginian is adopting Obie for Seniors as part of a $56.5 million renovation that will include an expanded memory care program.