Crown Center for Senior Living in St. Louis, Mo., is an independent living community providing affordable, high-quality apartments for older adults and serving as a community center for seniors. Bluffdale, Utah-based Listen Technologies visited with Crown Center’s community relations director Randi Schenberg and community engagement manager Laura Greenberg about their needs and experience with ListenTALK, an easy-to-use, two-way portable communication system.
Crown Center is a senior living community where many aging residents and patrons have varying degrees of hearing loss. This can lead to loneliness and depression as people withdraw from social interactions due to hearing difficulties. During the pandemic, masks and social distancing exacerbated the situation by minimizing facial cues and muffling voices. Outdoor activities faced environmental noises like wind, construction and other background sounds.
Additionally, Crown Center is a diverse community with three languages spoken: English, Russian, and Mandarin. Crown Center provides translators to accommodate seniors who speak a different language. Programs, classes, a café, and supportive services are also available for older adults.
Crown Center’s goal was to alleviate social isolation among older adult clients by encouraging those who had become withdrawn due to hearing loss, language barriers or both, to participate in group settings once again.
Crown Center partnered with AudioLinks, which recommended a ListenTALK demo. “We were extremely impressed with the sound quality. It’s exceptional and makes communicating much easier,” says Greenberg. She adds, “It was so easy to use and made such a difference for Crown’s residents to hear clearly. It also gave us a way to more directly communicate and connect with clients who do not speak English.”
After thoroughly testing ListenTALK with staff and residents, both with and without hearing loss, Crown was confident the system would benefit their community. They submitted grant applications and received funding to purchase the ListenTALK system.
Crown Center uses the ListenTALK system for multiple programs, including presentations, group discussions, and weekly movies. Residents and staff may use ListenTALK during one-on-one consultations when meeting with extended family members or apartment applicants.
Crown Center also trained its social services and program staff to use the assistive listening and communication system in various ways, resulting in better communication and understanding due to improved hearing quality for clients.
ListenTALK is also an excellent tool for Crown Center’s translators, who can use the system for simultaneous interpretation, helping to keep everyone involved and informed.
“Life-changing” was the word used by a Crown resident to describe how the ListenTALK system impacted her ability to remain active and engaged despite her hearing loss.
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- (1) LKS-3 ListenTALK Collabor-8 System
- (6) LK-1 ListenTALK Transceivers
- (6) LA-453 Headsets
- (30) LA-402 Universal Stereo Headphones