Think of all the activities available to the residents of your senior living community. You most likely offer everything from one-on-one therapy sessions to art classes to silent discos. All of these activities play a vital role in engaging and empowering your residents who are easily distracted. But what happens when seniors can’t take full advantage of all you have to offer?

Every senior living professional has likely come across easily distracted residents. They’re not engaged during activities – perhaps wandering off or even falling asleep. They keep to themselves. They might even skip sessions all together.

Distracted behavior could signal bigger problems for a resident, like cognitive decline, depression and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Senior living staff need to be on the lookout for easily-distracted residents – and must be armed with the tools to help re-engage their census when needed.

Many communities are leaning into purposeful technology to increase focus, participation and confidence amongst their residents. Eversound’s wireless headphone system amplifies sound and enhances communication, helping communities keep residents engaged and able to pursue their passions. The system features wireless headphones with a range of up to 250 feet (without the need for WiFi or bluetooth) and transmitters for two-way audio and voice communication.

Let’s explore the topic of easily-distracted senior living residents, and highlight three communities that are using Eversound to build a more engaged census:

The science of easily-distracted residents

Senior living residents are scientifically more susceptible to an attention shortfall.

A study led by the University of Southern California finds that senior distraction is associated with the locus coeruleus, a small region of the brainstem that helps focus brain activity during periods of stress or excitement. The locus coeruleus weakens over time, meaning that it becomes harder to focus as you age.

During activity time, therapy sessions and family visits, residents are likely to experience more excitement and emotion. Naturally, it becomes harder for them to focus, whether that be on a vision test, one-on-one conversation or even a movie.

How hearing loss affects focus for senior living residents

Some residents might be easily distracted because they’re experiencing untreated hearing loss. One-third of individuals age 70 and older experience hearing loss, while nearly 40% of cases are likely to go undiagnosed, according to the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

When senior living residents are struggling to hear, it’s often much easier to lose focus on the task at hand. Hearing loss makes it difficult to distinguish speech. When large groups start to form, the problem might get even worse; overwhelmed residents might end up losing focus or not participating altogether.

Communities that used Eversound to help easily-distracted residents

How can your community assist your easily-distracted residents and stay vigilant against untreated hearing loss? Communities across the country are using purposeful technology like Eversound to increase inclusion and accessibility.

Eversound is senior living’s preferred hearing solution. These ergonomically-designed headphones can be worn by residents during activities, therapy sessions and anything else to enhance focus and communication.

Let’s hear from three organizations, and the community leaders that are seeing results first-hand:

The Arbor Company: Boosting resident participation and confidence

The Arbor Company is utilizing Eversound at all 43 of its communities, which span across 11 states. Arbor found Eversound to be an essential part of its resident engagement plan, allowing residents to take part in guided walking clubs, scenic bike rides, book clubs, religious services and games like “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.” Staff noticed a more focused census that could more readily engage in activities.

It has helped boost participation and it’s also helped residents gain confidence,” said one engagement coordinator at an Arbor community. “Residents aren’t asking, ‘what, I can’t hear that? Can you say that one more time?’ Instead they’re able to just answer, and you can see the smile on their face.

VP of Engagement Kris Frankel particularly noticed how Eversound helped improve communication and participation for more introverted or shy residents.

[Some residents] want to sit on the outskirts and enjoy the activity, but they don’t wanna be in the middle of everything,” Frankel said. “Eversound is really great because we can allow them to sit where they’re comfortable and still hear everything that’s going on and be a part of the activity, but not be right in the middle of it.

Retirement Unlimited: Maximizing learning opportunities

Retirement Unlimited operates 19 communities across Virginia and Florida. Their RUI University program offers a wide variety of courses – from music history to international cooking – for the network’s 1,700+ independent living and assisted living residents.

One of the core programs of RUI University is the Auditory Learning Lab, which incorporates educational audio as part of lesson plans. Using Eversound for the auditory component of the learning labs helped all course attendees – not just those with hearing impairment. The wireless headphone system drowns out background noise, increasing residents’ ability to focus on the auditory experience.

This additional concentration allowed residents to get more out of each lesson, and even empowered more residents to lead their own learning labs through the RUI Fellows program.

The residents absolutely love listening to their peers,” said Mary-Kate Ransford, Academic Administrator, RUI University. “They give their full attention. It’s really cool to see how supportive they are of each other.

LCB Senior Living: Increasing engagement by 28%

The staff at LCB Senior Living recognized that residents experiencing hearing loss were less likely to participate in group events and activities. Integrating Eversound into their 34 communities in the Northeast was a step towards improving resident engagement.

LCB Senior Living implemented Eversound at a variety of events, including resident meetings, speaker events, tai chi, yoga and language classes. The organization conducted a study which found that Eversound spurred a 28% increase in resident engagement activities, with 17% fewer residents leaving or falling asleep.

To learn another language, to learn about other cultures, to catch up on the old movies that you’ve always loved . . . all of those things are made more possible and richer in terms of experience by the Eversound system,

said Ted Doyle, Vice President of Marketing, LCB Senior Living.

Improve resident focus and participation with Eversound

Eversound represents an investment in purposeful technology that can be used by nearly every team in your community: activity directors, sales and marketing directors, memory care workers, and more.

Residents – especially those that are easily distracted or experiencing hearing loss – and staff can use Eversound during therapy sessions, activities and other group activities to maximize communication. A healthier, more engaged census is possible with Eversound.

Get in touch with our team today to see how Eversound’s purposeful technology can bring inclusion, accessibility, and engagement to your senior living community.