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Retiree Spotlight
R
ear Adm. Kathleen L. Martin, members carry Paro with them and encourage
USN-Ret., became the CEO of residents to pet his fur or talk to him. Some
Vinson Hall Retirement Com- residents may want to hold Paro in their lap.
munity in McLean, Va., in 2005. Part What results have you seen so far? We
of her mission has been to use technol- started working with Paro in June 2008,
ogy and current research to improve and since that time, the residents have
the lives of her residents. So it was only enjoyed the interaction, especially those
natural that she jumped at the chance for in The Sylvestery, our dementia-care unit.
Vinson Hall to be the only retirement Some residents appear calmer after
community in the U.S. to test the ef- holding Paro, and everyone smiles.
fectiveness of Paro, a robotic har- What other technology are you
bor seal designed for therapy. using at Vinson Hall?
Why was Paro created? Dr. We are testing the
Takanori Shibata invented Paro Aframe device — which
for use in therapy with specif- was originally used in
ic populations. He has tested the Army’s Wounded
its effect with children with Warrior Program for
autism and wanted to learn veterans living alone —
how [people] with dementia in our assisted-living facil-
would respond. ity and nursing home. It’s a
How does Paro work? Paro watch with a computer chip
looks and feels like a live that helps to monitor the
baby harbor seal. When he is location of residents. If a
touched or spoken to, he responds resident falls, it sends a
by blinking his eyes and making signal to the nurse’s sta-
sounds. His battery recharges using a tion and to a staff mem-
pacifi er attached to a power cord. ber’s pager notifying them of
How does the staff use Paro with the resident’s location. It also
residents who have dementia? records the resident’s vital signs.
We actually have fi ve seals. Staff — Nanette Lavoie-Vaughn
Attention! Check out these military-related entertainment offerings.
BOOK “Football! Navy! to develop leaders and land, Tom Skerritt, and El- Marine Maj. Brian Dennis
War!” (McFarland, 2009) fighting men alike. liott Gould) will be released formed a fast friendship
Retired Navy Capt. Wilbur with special features on with Nubs, a stray dog in
D. Jones Jr. explains how MOVIE M*A*S*H (20th Blu-ray disc Sept. 1. Iraq, while serving along
college football remained Century Fox, 2009) The the Syrian border of Iraq in
a piece of the American hit 1970 comedy focusing BOOK Nubs: The True October 2007. When Den-
mosaic during World War on the lives of three Ko- Story of a Mutt, a Ma- nis was relocated, Nubs
II and details how the U.S. rean War Army surgeons rine & a Miracle (Little, went on a 70-mile journey
Navy used college football (played by Donald Suther- Brown and Co., 2009), to find his friend. MO
30 MILITARY OFFICER SEPTEMBER 2009 PHOTO: STEVE BARRETT
SSept_RF.indd 30ept_RF.indd 30 88/5/09 1:57 PM/5/09 1:57 PM
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