How Can We Improve Our Program Experience for Older Visitors?
I work at a regional library in the Northeast that has a large number of older visitors. We’ve expanded the number of programs and events that we offer to seniors, and attendance is typically very good. Our challenge is getting visitors to engage with speakers and event leaders.
Those of us who help coordinate these events suspect a large part of the issue is that many of our visitors have hearing loss, but they don’t wear hearing aids. Our public address system is also older and seems to be tough on those who do have hearing aids.
We have a grant from a local foundation we’d like to use to purchase some type of technology to help our older visitors more fully enjoy our activities and events.
Do you have any ideas we could explore?
Hearing Technology for Older Adults
Good observation on the part of your staff! We often find that seniors are reluctant to admit they are having problems hearing. It might also be that while some older adults struggle to hear, they haven’t yet reached the point where they need a hearing aid.
It’s a shame that your older visitors aren’t able to make the most of your programs, but it sounds like you’ve figured out a way to solve the problem with the help of a grant.
I can share with you that Benchmark Senior Living communities use a wireless headphone system called Eversound. It works for people with or without a hearing aid, and it can connect with any audio source from a television to an iPhone.
Our program directors and guest presenters use a wireless microphone to talk with. Every resident who attends an event receives a pair of wireless headphones to wear. Each headset has its own individual volume control. The headphones are easy to transport and recharge.
If you’d like to see this hearing technology in action—and bring a few of your older library visitors along to test it out—I encourage you to call the Benchmark Senior Living community nearest you. We’d be happy to have you join us for one of our award-winning Live Now, Live Well activities.