New technology is breaking up the monotony of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing entertainment and improving quality of life in the process.

Boston-based Eversound has launched a new “visitation package” — two-way communication technology that allows senior living residents and their family and friends to safely reconnect through wireless headphones. 

The headphones feature broader frequency ranges to deliver truer sound to those with hearing loss, as well as ergonomic volume controls and antimicrobial materials. The system’s wireless transmitter connects to most audio sources and can broadcast voice and audio simultaneously to the headphones.

Maplewood Senior Living’s 15 independent living, assisted living and memory care communities across the Northeast are among those implementing the new technology to help families schedule “in person” visits with their loved ones.

Using Everwood’s visitation package, residents and their loved ones wear the headphones to communicate. 

“Our ‘Safe Visits’ pilot with Eversound over Mother’s Day was very successful, and we’re excited to expand that program over the coming months,” said Brian Geyser, Maplewood vice president of clinical innovation and population health.

Virtual reality brings immersive experiences to older adults

Myndvr at Home

Meanwhile, Dallas-based MyndVR has launched Myndvr at Home to provide older adults access to immersive experiences, including travel, music, art, nature and reminiscence therapies. In partnership with Littlstar, a virtual reality content developer, MyndVR is combining its original content with 360-degree videos. 

Myndvr at Home is the at-home version of its program used at senior living communities, skilled nursing facilities, veteran’s homes and other settings. MyndVR rolled out a pilot program earlier this year to test ease-of-use for Myndvr at Home and found the technology easy for seniors and caregivers.

“MyndVR is not just about the entertainment that it provides to seniors,” said Jim Gleason, MyndVR head of product development. “Our research has shown that MyndVR and the virtual reminiscence therapy that we create has the ability to lift spirits and help seniors relive amazing memories from their youth. Virtual reality can really have an impact for this demographic, and we’re excited to be leading the charge with a program that allows seniors who are aging in place to reap the benefits of virtual reality.”