By Carrie Vittitoe

Thrive Innovation Center displays new ideas for better quality of life in the home, including the bedroom. 

Who would have thought that right here in Louisville we have a simulation lab focused on aging? The Thrive Innovation Center was conceived as a result of economic development incentives in 2010, when Signature Healthcare relocated to the city. InnovateLTC was created as an affiliate of Signature to drive innovation and collaboration. Sheri Rose, Thrive Center CEO and executive director, says the goal is for the facility to “become the epicenter of long-term care and aging innovation.”

Every eight to 12 months, the Thrive Center will focus on a theme, with its initial one being memory. It has partnered with technology vendors who have stepped up to develop and test new gadgets and software specifically designed for the older population. For example, Piper, a company that created the countdown clocks for the New York City subway system, has donated a beaconing technology to the Thrive Center. This beacon will allow the center to determine which exhibits visitors frequent the most, but it is also a technology that might be used to help caregivers keep track of their loved ones with dementia.

A bathroom equipped with sensors as well as a mirror screen can show plan for the day and medication reminders. 

Sheri says the center is also partnering with local universities, including Bellarmine and Spalding, to bring in occupational and physical therapy students to work with older adults who visit the center. The center will offer classes and programs — such as writing workshops, cooking, and support groups — to keep older adults living vigorously.

Louisville has long been a hub of medical advances, but having a center specially designed to keep older adults as healthy and active as possible is a gift that will impact many generations.

Read about Chef Space, Whiskey Row, the Speed Art Museum, Scarlet’s Bakery, and the Parklands at Floyds Fork as part of our Community Gifts feature.