Innovation and Technology at the Forefront of Splendido’s New iPad Initiative with Sonora Residents


Tucson, Ariz. (June 24, 2013) – A new type of healing is happening in Tucson. Sonora at Splendido, the health center within one of Arizona’s leading continuing care retirement communities, recently began incorporating the use of iPad tablet-style computing technology into daily programming in order to engage residents on new cognitive and social levels, and improve connections with friends and family.

According to Pew Internet Data, more than half of adults age 65 and over use email or are on the Internet, with almost 70 percent owning a cell phone. As older adults become more immersed in the technical age, health centers like Sonora set the stage for the future of care among older adults.

The iPads were donated to Sonora at Splendido by the Levin family, in honor of their mother, who had been a former resident. The iPads will enable residents to connect via Skype video calling over the internet with family scattered throughout the United States and around the world. The result is an ability to communicate and maintain relationships from a distance that would otherwise have been more difficult.

“The technology has allowed a connection between residents and their family members,” Gail Rankin, administrator of Sonora, says of the newly acquired iPads. “Sonora residents can still be in close contact with their families even if they are not in the area — and that is what healing looks like.”

Real families are feeling the rewards. For one family the iPad technology allowed the daughter of a Sonora resident to return to her home in the Midwest while still maintaining daily visits with her mother. Now these moments are simply shared through a high-resolution screen.

The connective nature of iPad technology is just one of the doors opened by the donation.  In addition to family members staying in touch with residents, they can also be brought into Care Team/Planning meetings with staff as well. Remote conferencing has allowed multiple family members from different locations to interface with residents’ medical care teams, facilitating a more productive discussion and increased level of care.

The tablets have also been incorporated into meditation practices, current events, music activities, word games and various other types of programming in line with the personal interests of the residents. Sonora at Splendido staff continue to work with residents in determining the types of interfaces that appeal to the cognitive abilities of each individual.

With the introduction of greater technology resources, Splendido has expanded its Wi-Fi coverage throughout its health center, helping the residents who own their own devices to join this tablet-fuelled healing network making waves among residents.

About Sonora at Splendido:

Splendido is a joint venture of Mather LifeWays, a non-denominational, not-for-profit organization headquartered in Evanston, Ill., that creates Ways to Age Well(SM) for older adults, and the Plaza Companies, an Arizona-based leader in senior living communities and health care facilities. Splendido offers all-inclusive, resort-style living for adults 55 years and better through the 10,000-square-foot Saluté Spa & Fitness Center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, 24-hour concierge service, multiple restaurants and lounges, an 18-hole putting course and cinema. Opened in 2006, Sonora at Splendido provides 12 assisted living apartments, 12 memory support suites and 36 skilled nursing suites. Care is modeled on whole-person wellness, which gives attention to six dimensions: social, intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional and vocational. To visit Sonora at Splendido or receive more information, call (520) 878-2612 or visit online at