At LCB, we work hard to offer our residents and their communities the highest quality programming geared to a broad range of interests. But all of that doesn’t mean much, frankly, if people can’t fully hear and appreciate what’s happening around them. So we’ve partnered with the specialists at Eversound wireless headphone technology to provide their hearing enhancement products to several of our LCB communities. We asked Senior Reflections and Engagement Director Courtney Allenson at The Residence at Otter Creek to talk more about this technology and the difference it’s made for the residents she works with.
- Can you speak a bit about why LCB looked into this technology in the first place? What community need were you hoping to address?
We had several specific requests from residents to get some sort of hearing-assistance technology because of age-related hearing loss. For those residents, attending meetings, events, lectures, and movies was futile – they simply could not hear the content or make out enough words to make attendance worthwhile. We knew there were likely others who weren’t speaking up or weren’t event attending in the first place, and we had to address the need!
- What is Eversound, and how does it work?
Eversound is a wireless system that transmits surround-sound quality audio from any source to a wireless set of headphones. That is the technical description. But Eversound is also a lifeline that serves to connect and include people. It’s is an essential tool that’s become part of our daily lives at Otter Creek.
- What kind of training or orientation did you have to engage in with the staff and residents?
To kick off the Eversound system and get everyone on the same page about its benefits, we held a full week’s worth of programs designed around the technology. Every event was an “Eversound Event” where each participant was given headsets. I hoped this would reduce the stigma potentially associated with wearing a hearing device — and it did, more than I had ever hoped. I continue to feature the headsets at every applicable program (lectures, meetings, classes, fitness classes, movies, etc.). I also have all department heads, everyone in the engagement team, and everyone in the maintenance team trained so there are always several people available to help with them.
- How has Eversound improved the residents’ day-to-day experience? Would you say you see tangible differences?
The impact that Eversound has made on the lives of people here at Otter cannot be overstated! Eversound changes lives. Its impact is visible and tangible, and I cannot imagine life here without it. Here’s an example involving one resident in particular who was self-conscious about his hearing deficit and struggling through exercise class, unable to hear directions. He was watching and following, but very tentatively and with poor results. The first time we convinced him to exercise with the headsets was very emotional. He was in sync with his peers, he was smiling ear to ear, and he felt cared for. It’s still emotional for me to look back to on now.
Residents who used to fall asleep in events are alert and engaged because now they can actually hear what is going on! At our first Residents’ Meeting with Eversound in place, a woman came up to me at the end and said, “Thank you so much. That was the first time in my 4 years here that I’ve heard every word of the meeting. I feel so connected.” These are just a few examples of the many success stories we witness every day with Eversound!
For more information on Eversound wireless head to their website or give us a call and ask to speak with one of our Engagement Directors.