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Making Play Fit

From the airport in Penticton to the library in Penetanguishene, Keebee Play in Midland has been designing and manufacturing one-of-a-kind play products for commercial and institutional environments for more than 10 years.

“We chose to open our business in the Midland area because there was an abundance of space and labour, and it’s strategically located close to the GTA. Not to mention the serenity that the area has to offer and high quality of life that we have come to appreciate,” said Marc Kanik, owner at Keebee Play. 

At Keebee, play products are customized to the client’s brand. The design team takes the customer’s visions, creates the illustrations and then the engineer translates it into something that the production floor can create. The art department prepares for screen or digital print, and the process continues throughout the production floor. From cutting to sanding, painting and printing, each of the 22 hard-working staff play an important role in producing the final artwork that brings the client’s vision to life.

Kanik believes innovation is key to business success. The firm recently developed a new technological activity to help engage people living with dementia through a division of their business called Ambient Activity. “ABBY” provides those who live with moderate to severe levels of cognitive impairments, opportunities to interact with purposeful activity.

“Our focus is to develop non-pharmaceutical, activity-based approaches to managing agitated behaviours in long-term care facilities,” said Kanik.

ABBY recognizes individuals by way of the beacon that plays individual’s specialized content. It can be programmed in different languages and include photographic memories, music and other engaging personalized interactions.

Many people living with dementia who reside in long-term care facilities are under-stimulated and socially isolated. While there has been an increase in activities and programming based on occupational therapy, recreational therapy, music therapy, physiotherapy, and so on, such programs can cover only a fraction of the day for people who live with dementia. The result is that these patients will spend most of their day either in their rooms or wandering hallways.

The ABBY unit can be mounted to the wall and is designed to augment existing programming in long-term care homes. It can be self-accessed at any time (24 hours/day, 7 days/week).

“It’s designed to reduce distress in residents and caregivers by substituting responsive behaviours and purposelessness with active and meaningful activities, distractions, and appropriate intervention. Play is intricate to human connection – it refreshes us and it can be therapeutic – for all ages,“ said Kanik.

This Midland-based business is thriving and making an economic impact far and wide.

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