Crown Center for Senior Living, an independent living community in St. Louis, Mo., has selected ListenTALK from Listen Technologies to help older adults in the community overcome hearing loss and language barriers so they can participate more easily in group events and social gatherings. ListenTALK is an easy-to-use, two-way, portable communication system.
Crown Center for Senior Living provides affordable, high-quality apartments for older adults and serves as a community center for seniors who participate in programs, classes, and supportive services. Many residents and patrons at Crown Center have varying degrees of hearing loss. Members of the community also speak different languages: English, Russian, or Mandarin. These factors make clear communication challenging. and led some adults in the community to become withdrawn and lonely.
Audio distributor AudioLinks recommended ListenTALK to facilitate communication at Crown Center because of the system’s exceptional sound quality, ease of use, and simultaneous interpretation functionality. Crown Center thoroughly tested ListenTALK with staff and residents, with and without hearing loss, to ensure the system would benefit their community.
“We were extremely impressed with the sound quality of ListenTALK,” said Laura Greenberg, community engagement manager at Crown Center. “It’s exceptional and makes communicating much easier. It also gave us a way to communicate and connect with clients who do not speak English.”
How ListenTALK Works
ListenTALK features a small, lightweight transceiver (combined transmitter/receiver) that users can wear around their neck and plug into personal, or venue-provided, headphones or headsets. To speak, users press and hold a button on the transceiver. Clear audio is transmitted to other transceivers paired to their ListenTALK unit. Users can hear as far away as 100 meters indoors and 200 meters outdoors.
Transceivers are easily grouped in a docking station or by tapping units together using near-field communication (NFC). Leaders in each group choose how their group communicates by selecting one of three communication modes: Listen only, respond, and discuss. Leaders can easily switch between communication modes.
ListenTALK is ideal for transmitting language interpretation and simplifies simultaneous interpretation. The person who is interpreting simply creates a separate group for residents who prefer to listen to that language.
Facilitating Engagement at Crown Center
Crown Center uses ListenTALK for multiple programs, including presentations, group discussions, and weekly movies. Residents and staff also may use ListenTALK during one-on-one consultations when meeting with extended family members or apartment applicants. Crown Center trained its social services and program staff to use ListenTALK in various ways, resulting in better communication and understanding due to improved hearing quality for clients.
“It is rewarding to know ListenTALK is helping Crown Center 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,” said Maile Keone, president and CEO of Listen Technologies.
“Life-changing” was the word used by a Crown Center resident to describe how the ListenTALK system impacted her ability to remain active and engaged despite her hearing loss.