June 2018

Innovative Hearing Solution to Be Offered to ABHM Seniors

When seniors have trouble hearing, they miss out on life. This can lead to feelings of frustration, embarrassment, or anger. Sure, conventional hearing aids are one solution: but they can be expensive, they can easily get lost, and they can be difficult to use when dexterity becomes an issue.

Now, thanks to the new wireless headphone technology of Eversound—designed specifically for older adults—seniors are able to hear clearly during conversations, movies, presentations, and other group activities.

Eversound was tested in the American Baptist Homes of the Midwest community of Maple Crest Health Center, located in the Benson neighborhood of Omaha, with promising results. Seniors described an enhanced listening experience, significantly improving participation, engagement, well-being, and overall quality of life.

The test went so well, ABHM partnered with Eversound to bring this exciting technology to all seven of their communities.

With a mission of creating healthy Christian communities that empower people, Eversound was a natural fit. According to David Zwickey, CEO/President of ABHM, “Eversound enables our hearing-impaired residents to hear with a level of clarity they haven’t experienced in years.”

The audio products are easy to use, too, and cost “less than the cost of one premium hearing aid,” explains Jake Reisch, CEO and co-founder of Eversound.

The partnership is an opportunity to bring awareness to Eversound while giving the gift of hearing to residents.

According to Matt Reiners, VP of Customer Impact and co-founder of Eversound, “The effects are immediate, and as a result—the morale of both the residents and staff is significantly improved. Hearing loss is a natural part of the aging process, but when it’s left unaddressed, it has been linked to mental decline, social isolation, and depression. With the 65+ population nearly doubling by 2050, we look forward to developing our partnership with ABHM to address such a critical need.”

 ABOUT MAPLE CREST HEALTH CENTER
Maple Crest is a health care provider offering long term care, short term rehabilitation and memory care. They have been serving the seniors of Benson and the surrounding communities for more than 65 years. maplecrest.net 

 

ABOUT EVERSOUND

Eversound is improving quality of life for seniors by helping audience members hear clearly during movies, presentations and all group events. The company is expanding with installations in several of the largest senior living chains in the country with its easy to use wireless headphone group listening system product specifically designed for the ergonomic, auditory and aesthetic needs of older adult users. For more information, visit everoundhq.com

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The Healing Effects of Music

Music can remind you of a specific person or time in your life. It can soothe you, energize you, and recent research shows that it has the power to heal you.

Music therapy—when a trained professional uses music interventions to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals—is a growing field in the U.S. (and around the world). Music therapy has been credited with everything from helping newborns gain weight to helping people recover their speech after a stroke.

It’s not a new field, either. Music therapy has been around since World War I, when community volunteers played music for the wounded. The patients and the nurses noticed a boost in spirits after music was played, an improved outlook, and even less pain. This led to a revelation: music can heal us. Soon after, hospitals were hiring musicians.

HOW IT WORKS; WHO IT HELPS

Music is meditative—the whole brain is stimulated and engaged when you’re listening. From emotion to motor function, creativity to memory, the brain processes music in complex ways. It has the power to shift your mood. It can bring on feelings of comfort and safety. You can forget about your present-day worries. According to Mindfulness Meditation Coach Louise Jensen,“When we listen to music, our brain releases dopamine—a feel-good chemical essential for the healthy functioning of the central nervous system; it has effects on emotion, perception, and movement.” So, music makes us happy. It can also lower blood pressure, reduce your heart rate, and relax your muscles, it’s no wonder that music therapists are in demand in a number of healing environments.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, “Music therapists work in psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitative facilities, medical hospitals, outpatient clinics, day care treatment centers, agencies serving persons with developmental disabilities, community mental health centers, drug and alcohol programs, senior centers, nursing homes, hospice programs, correctional facilities, halfway houses, schools, and private practice.”

It doesn’t matter what style of music is used, either. There is no one-size-fits-all style that’s more therapeutic than others. It’s really a matter of preference, circumstance, and treatment needs (it also helps to have a positive, consistent relationship with the music therapist).

In short, music therapy can improve people’s quality of life.

MUSIC THERAPY HAS THE POWER TO:

• HELP RESTORE SPEECH

Imagine the frustration of not being able to find the words for everyday conversation. Imagine, too, the freedom of remembering words to familiar songs—and the euphoria of realizing the words and lyrics are still there. This isn’t uncommon for stroke survivors experiencing aphasia, a disorder that impairs the ability to process language. Listening to music can help boost stroke recovery by activating the part of the brain associated with memory, motor function, and emotional processing. Music therapy is being used to treat patients with neurological disorders of Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, as well as people living with brain injuries. After singing phrases often enough, some patients are able to find the words to speak again. Neurologists are excited about this: the research backs the idea that regardless of which part of the brain was damaged, music can help people learn again. Our brains can be rewired.

• AID IN PAIN RELIEF

Listening to music before surgery can take the focus away from fears. According to Joanne V. Loewy, PhD, director of the music therapy program at New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center in an article on WebMD, “There’s a belief that music and pain are processed along the same [nerve] pathways. So, if we have a patient playing or focusing on the music, they won’t feel the pain.” It might not be that people can’t feel the pain, but rather—that they’re distracted from it. For a brief time, the music can take them out of their situation so they can simply focus on the music.

• IMPROVE ASTHMA SYMPTOMS  

Music can help asthmatic patients relax so their lungs work more efficiently with medication. There’s evidence, too, that playing wind instruments can help asthmatics monitor their breathing strategies.

• HELP WITH DEMENTIA

Listening to and singing songs from the past can bring out memories associated with those songs; memories that were otherwise locked away. According to Alzheimers.net, “Music requires little to no mental processing, so singing music does not require the cognitive function [missing] in most dementia patients.”

• ASSIST THOSE IN ADDICTION TREATMENT

In the realm of addiction treatment, music therapy—when used in conjunction with talk therapy and medication—can be a highly effective tool. Those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol build up defense mechanisms (rationalizing, denying, lying) in order to hide their addiction and hide from their emotions. The creative nature of music therapy can help addicts alter their thought patterns. And listening to and talking about songs and lyrics can help people explore different emotions and feelings they might not feel comfortable discussing otherwise.

OTHER EXCITING STUDIES

Another exciting new study showed that music therapy reduced the rejection of heart transplants; another study showed that music can speed the rate of physical healing after surgery.

Music is universal—everyone can relate. And it’s doing so much more than entertaining us. It’s changing people, one beat, one rhythm, one song at a time.

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