ListenTALK Facilitates Communication and Engagement at Crown Center for Senior Living
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. Programs, classes, a café, and supportive services are offered for area older adults.
Listen Technologies visited with 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. Activities that were moved outdoors 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. Crown Center’s goal was to alleviate social isolation among older adult clients. The system’s availability encouraged those who had withdrawn due to hearing loss, language barriers, or both, to participate in group settings once again.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 Laura Greenberg. She added, “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 trained its social services and program staff to use the assistive listening and communication system in various ways. Staff uses the system to communicate, which results in better communication and understanding because clients can hear the conversations. ListenTALK is also an excellent tool for Crown’s translators, who can use the system for simultaneous interpretation, helping to keep everyone involved and informed.
A Crown resident described the impact of ListenTALK as “life changing” because of how it has impacted her ability to remain active and engaged despite her hearing loss.