As the population continues to age, the growing need for specialized memory care for seniors increases.
According to data from the Population Reference Bureau, seven million Americans aged 65 or older were diagnosed with dementia in 2020, and that number is expected to rise to nine million by 2030, and nearly 12 million by 2040. That’s nearly a 30% increase over a single decade.
Memory care specialists play a critical role in finding solutions that bring joy and purpose to the lives of their residents. However, due to the rising costs of long-term senior living combined with staffing shortages, senior living leaders are looking for cost-effective ways to implement memory care programs that meet the needs of their budget and their staff.
Memory Care Planning
With evidence that regular social interaction can improve physical and mental health outcomes, memory care plans need to prioritize opportunities for social engagement.
One significant challenge for seniors to engage socially is the widespread but silent epidemic of hearing loss. The rising rates of hearing loss and dementia are not a coincidence, however, making it a crucial factor to consider when designing memory care plans.
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), hearing loss affects a significant proportion of seniors. By the age of 65, one in three seniors experience hearing loss, while this number increases to one in two by the age of 75. At age 85, an overwhelming 80% of individuals are affected by hearing loss.
Engaging residents living with dementia is a challenging task for staff, as their ability to focus is often affected. In order to keep residents engaged in activities, staff members need to explore ways to assist them in staying focused. Eversound’s wireless headphone system can help stimulate residents’ minds and encourage more involvement and focus. Let’s take a look at how Eversound’s wireless headphone system is the perfect partner for memory care specialists.
Alleviate behavioral symptoms associated with dementia
Behavioral symptoms associated with dementia can include agitation, aggression, wandering, and psychosis. These symptoms can occur due to the increase in cognitive load and the frustration from being unable to communicate effectively.
Music, for example, can be a powerful tool for memory care specialists to alleviate these behavioral symptoms. By leveraging the strong connection between music, and the emotional and memory centers in the brain, memory care specialists can use music to reduce distress, anxiety, and depression in residents.
Using Eversound wireless headphones to play familiar and meaningful music can also provide a means of socialization for residents. Concert series and sing-a-long movie nights are a great way to bring life into your memory care programming. When residents use Eversound, they can fully immerse themselves in the audio or visual content. Eversound’s ability to enhance listening and comprehension will surely help to maximize your session’s impact and reduce the negative behaviors associated with dementia.
Engage Critical Thinking Skills and Spark Meaningful Discussions
Dementia is a progressive neurological disorder that affects cognitive abilities, such as memory, language, and reasoning. Engaging in critical thinking activities can help to stimulate the brain and promote cognitive functioning, which may slow down the progression of dementia symptoms.
Book clubs can be an effective tool for engaging residents and promoting deeper discussions. By participating in a book club, residents can exercise their minds with others and discuss literature together, sharing their thoughts and opinions on the content. Similarly, group trivia challenges residents to think critically and exercise their cognitive abilities. These activities are great ways to stimulate memory recall in the brain, while also facilitating social interaction and fostering closer connections among the residents.
Eversound’s wireless headphones improve engagement and auditory clarity, making them an ideal tool for book clubs and trivia experiences. Eversound helps facilitate group discussions by passing around the microphone attached to the transmitter or placing it in the center of a table. This improved hearing environment can encourage residents to participate in group conversations easily, which can foster a sense of community and boost overall brain health.
Conduct immersive reminiscence therapy
Reminiscence therapy aids residents with dementia to remember people and memories from their past by utilizing their senses. There are two prevalent forms of this therapy—visual, which involves pictures, photos, and videos, and aural, which uses music and other audio. Both of these forms can be effectively incorporated with Eversound.
Watching videos of loved ones is a powerful tool to help those in memory care connect with more vivid memories of the past. Even people with advanced dementia who may have difficulty with other forms of communication get great benefits from videos of loved ones. This can help trigger memories and emotions associated with specific times and places in their lives, ultimately helping them reconnect with their past and providing a sense of comfort and familiarity. It can also provide an opportunity to talk to other community members about shared experiences and connect with them on a nostalgic level.
Turn up the music with a Name that tune or movie activity. Have residents listen to songs through the headphones and have them guess the song, artist, or movie title. Listening to music together in this way can be a shared experience that promotes social interaction and connection.
How Eversound turns up the volume and turns down the cognitive load for Memory Care residents
The Eversound wireless headphone system helps memory care specialists enhance their programming by improving sound clarity, volume and residents’ ability to focus. The individual volume controls allow residents to reduce distractions, increase participation, and create a more immersive experience.
Silverado Memory Care is a prime example of how Eversound plays a vital role in a community’s memory care strategy. Eversound’s technology has helped improve resident engagement for nearly 2,800 of Silverado’s residents across the United States. Prior to implementing Eversound, soft-spoken or hearing-impaired residents found it difficult to participate in group activities and engage with others when they couldn’t hear.
Silverado initially tested Eversound in a trial period at select communities, integrating the listening systems into various activities such as yoga, exercise, music, dance, games, audiobook readings, as well as one-on-one therapy sessions.
Silverado noticed considerable improvements in their residents’ hearing ability, mood, cognition, and enjoyment of activities. Even those with cognitive and sensory impairments experienced increased calmness and ease. These positive results led Silverado to decide to introduce Eversound in all of its 36 communities that it managed at that timer within just two months of the trial launch.
Related: Read the Silverado Memory Care case study in its entirety.
Eversound’s Three Key Features
The wireless headphone system is comprised of three components that work together to enhance residents’ connectivity to the world around them:
Our wireless headphones enhance your resident’s ability to hear, connecting up to 120 wireless headphones at distances up to 300 feet.
Broadcast audio and voice for group activities, or utilize the two-way communication features for one-on-one reminiscence therapy sessions. Residents can listen, talk and hear music/audio and participate in activities while sitting outside, in their rooms, or common spaces.
Communities that use Eversound gain access to the online members portal, which contains 100s of programs and activity ideas, many of which are designed for use with dementia and memory care.