Video conferencing tools are being used more and more in senior care facilities to communicate in a way that boosts resident engagement. This is a key offering to have since resident engagement platforms address the unique needs of the senior community and have a direct impact on the health and well-being of residents. Older adults in senior care facilities are continuing to adopt online communication tools, such as Zoom, to help sustain relationships, overcome social isolation, and maintain brain health.

When video communication tools like Zoom are paired with Eversound’s wireless headphones, memorable virtual experiences are created. Whether it’s through activities that bring out their creative side, or virtual visits that go down memory lane with family members, meaningful connections and engaging activities can be made from anywhere!

Combating Social Isolation with Video Technologies

Social isolation is a serious problem for the well-being of older adults, especially those who are in senior care facilities. Nothing brought this into focus more than the global pandemic, where residents were kept in lockdown, preventing families from visiting their loved ones. Residents became more withdrawn and more at risk for cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression disorders.

A study by the engagement solution provider, iN2L, highlights that loneliness and isolation are also proven to increase the risk of chronic conditions, including:

  • Dementia by 64%
  • Stroke by 32%
  • Coronary artery disease by 29%

Long-term care facilities started to invest more in video conferencing technologies to provide face-to-face interaction to increase that feeling of social connectedness. Although lockdowns have lifted, video conferencing in senior care remains an important tool to help residents achieve a better quality of life.

The Power of Zoom

Zoom makes video and web communication frictionless. It is a secure, user-friendly platform for online conferencing, messaging, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems.

When residents connect with other people via Zoom, it helps them feel less isolated and more engaged with the world around them. Participating in purposeful and productive conversations with others through video technologies gives residents a better sense of purpose and removes distance barriers with those who matter most.

There is also a real impact that video communication tools have on long-term memory and cognitive function. Researchers at the University of West London’s Geller Institute of Aging and Memory have found that regular communication and the use of online tools help maintain long-term memory and show less memory decline than in those who never use it. Participants who only used “traditional”, face-to-face communication showed more signs of cognitive decline than those who used video technology to keep in touch with friends and family.

8 Activities for residents to do over Zoom

Senior living facilities have the power to move family chats, activities, lectures, and more from the physical realm to the virtual space via Zoom. Here are 8 ideas that communities can use to empower seniors to connect, engage, and enjoy life through Zoom:

  1. Create craft packages and send them out to families so residents and their loved ones can craft together over a call.
  2. Have residents participate in lectures, discussions, or TedTalks virtually.
  3. Setup virtual tours of far-off locations where the tour guide can show residents around and respond to their questions in real-time, either verbally or with the chat feature.
  4. Get both sides moving. Create an exercise class or dance party to their favorite music to help improve strength and muscle function in residents and increase balance and flexibility.
  5. Share a family favorite recipe and let families, especially kids, learn from their grandparent or older relative. It’s an age-old tradition that bonds a family across generations (and space!).
  6. Trace their genealogy. A grandparent can tell a grandchild all about their family members, showing photos or mementos, while the child draws the tree. On the other hand, any family member reciting stories of family history with a senior with memory loss can help improve their mood and celebrate their history.
  7. Set up a Book Club meeting. Pick out an easy read that everyone agrees on and plan ahead to read the book by a certain day. Then “meet” via video to discuss what you thought.
  8. Get artistic! Paint, color, or sketch with loved ones virtually. Have residents come up with an idea to create, then have them reveal that illustration with loved ones for some instant giggles to see how each side chooses to make it! (Think Pictionary) Or check out this fun garden rock activity they can do easily over Zoom.

Unlocking the Power of Zoom with Eversound

The benefits of Zoom and its use in senior living facilities are only useful if residents can hear and fully participate. Decreased hearing is an issue with many residents—especially with dementia—and the Eversound headphones are helping families and residents engage in meaningful visits, in person, and virtually.

Related: see how residents and families at Priority Life Care community, Meadow Mills, are having a great experience hearing each other due to Eversound headphones, and how the Bridges® by EPOCH leverage Eversound for virtual visits to connect memory care residents with their families.

The Eversound headphone system breaks down communication barriers between residents and their loved ones, helping to remove extraneous background noise on their Zoom calls. A group transmitter is plugged into a computer with a wireless mic connected to that transmitter for the resident speaking.

This allows the resident to be fully connected and engaged in the Zoom conversation and activities being done on the call. When used in tandem with Zoom or any video conferencing tool, Eversound allows residents to immerse themselves in the call and fully participate.

A resident requested to use my computer to watch a video stream of a family member’s funeral/memorial service. Her family emailed me the link. My office area is in a corner of the Activity Room, which was occupied by a talkative group of residents playing a card game together. I was able to use Eversound at my computer so the resident could hear the memorial service without distraction.

Katie Levesque, Engagement Director, Vitality Living, Spring Hill.

To see how Eversound is helping resident engagement professionals use Zoom to create meaningful experiences for residents at a distance, get in touch!