By: Sara Kyle, Ph.D & Kelly A. Stranburg M.Ed., CEP, CSCS, CDP
Resident Engagement Experts & Principals at LE3 Solutions.
Have you heard?
In certain circles of senior living Eversound is widely known and revered because of multiple benefits. 1. Resident opportunities for clear hearing and activity programming, 2. Staff opportunities to connect and engage and 3. Family and visitation enhancement. Despite the current impact to 10,000 + residents in over 700 communities who use Eversound , many operators are still unaware of the solution itself and the enormous benefits it brings to a community.
What’s all the buzz about?
In our former roles in senior living we prolonged implementing the Eversound solution in our communities. It was one of those solutions that we knew would bring value but also dragged our feet due to timing, getting the right leadership positions bought in, and ensuring the solution would be widely and effectively utilized. Then BAM Covid-19 hit and shame on us for not having the Eversound solution in place sooner! We needed this critical solution for everyday resident benefit and the pandemic highlighted that need even further.
During the pandemic, there were times when infection rates dropped and the ability to conduct in-person, physically distanced programs presented themselves. Enter Eversound! The perfect solution to enable multiple residents to participate in programs while hearing adequately. No shouting, no overly loud music, no confusion as to what was happening. We observed residents following along to exercise programs for the first time and participating in discussion groups.
The use of Eversound also created the opportunity to design a family visit program that enabled effective physical distancing for safety and welfare. Family visits were then highly engaging and void of shouting, muffled conversations and hearing difficulties. Families and residents both walked away filled with joy and sometimes still wearing the headsets (they are comfy)!
Tell us more about the value!
Understanding that the overall resident experience is a value proposition that differentiates you in a way that is evergreen. An operator that is willing to invest in doing the right thing for the greater good and the end customer will become known. It is that simple. Of course, there is a discipline and evaluation that must take place, because creating a great resident experience can begin to touch every possible enhancement.
Here is a beautiful example of Eversound at work. A female resident consistently exhibited agitation. She rarely sat still for more than a couple of minutes and then would be up and walking around. Staff found it challenging to intervene in a positive manner that would assist her in settling down and not constantly being on the go. Enter Eversound! This resident had a family visit scheduled using the Eversound headsets to accommodate physical distancing. This resident remained seated for the entire duration of the 45-minute visit with her family and was able to hear and speak with them. Staff were in awe. She was calm and had no desire to be on the go. Would you say that Eversound added value to this resident? Her family? To the staff? To this community as a whole?
Depending on the hat you wear in your senior living community, we feel confident you’ve encountered an individual with a hearing impairment. You may have experienced frustration repeating yourself. The other individual may have also been frustrated in straining to hear or not being able to fully understand what you said. Or perhaps becoming confused with what was said. The Eversound system has a multitude of uses in the senior living setting beyond small group programs and family visits. The headsets could be used during sales tours, during family care plan meetings, and resident interviews for a variety of community life needs and requests.
What else do you need to know?
The coolest thing about this team is that when you become a member of Eversound you are truly becoming part of the Eversound family. You are way more than a member who rents their headset equipment. Beyond the benefits the equipment provides a community let us look at the unique additional benefits.
The best training ever!
What blew us away before implementing the headsets with the residents was the training and education Eversound provides. The enthusiasm, patience, and listening ear was second to none. The Community Success Managers (you catch that job title!) have an ability to train you, even virtually, so you can walk out the door and start using the headsets immediately. And we can confirm that is exactly what happened! In fact, one staff member ran out of the training webinar early so they could go use the headsets for a family visit immediately. That’s how confident they felt from just a portion of the training!
Immediate and consistent follow-up.
Have you ever completed an educational course or online training and within 15 minutes received an an email thanking you for your time, providing marketing collateral, and addressing any questions or ideas from the training? When you join Eversound you will! In fact, their timeliness in responding ensures you are successful in addressing all your Eversound needs and applications while providing additional tools for you to use immediately.
Okay so not only does Eversound bring a necessary solution to residents within communal living but they’ve also taken to heart the need for highly engaging programs for residents. Want to tour a nationally renowned aquarium? Enter Eversound! Have specific questions about that aquarium tour? Guess what? The programs, presentations, and tours that are live are interactive. And double guess what? Use of the Eversound headsets enhances residents’ ability to enjoy these programs!
Time to invest.
As operators we often want to understand if we spend money on a solution how will that impact the bottom line. In this case, having Eversound as a reliable solution will not directly translate into X number of move-ins or an exact dollar amount number that you can calculate. What if you started to think differently about the statistic that roughly 70% of residents have some issue with hearing impairment? What if only 30% of those in attendance for all the programs you are paying vendors, ordering supplies, investing in staff time and wages were gaining the benefit of “engagement”? When we can fully accept the challenges and roadblocks that impede engagement, we begin to understand how wasted and inefficient some of our traditional efforts of problem-solving become.
The real ROI lies in how we are helping those who choose or need to reside with us. The value lies in how this solution can impact and support an individual’s daily quality of life which arguably can result in overall improved health and well-being. Who can argue that for a typical community of 100 residents at a cost of $2/resident that this is not worth residents being able to hear clearly and thus engage with others, connect well with loved ones, and participate in movement, discussions, and creative opportunities? We are also learning more about the connection between cognition and hearing ability. The more we can support effective hearing, we have the opportunity to potentially stave off cognitive decline which could also lead to depression and other related health problems.
Thus the ROI starts to manifest in a multitude of different ways, but one has to be able to look beyond bottom line occupancy and move in data sets. How much of the “nonparticipation” we brush aside as introverts or disinterest is due to an obstacle or barrier that causes frustration or embarrassment. It is a real thing to be the one that is considered “hard of hearing” and needs ongoing assistance from a staff member or other resident. It is disruptive to everyone involved; staff, resident and other participants. To have inclusive activities and programming options, we must resolve to answer for the direct causes that lead to disengagement. Enter Eversound!