RUI University offers a lifelong learning program called RUI University to their residents. This program offers a large variety of courses – from music history to international cooking – for the residents of their independent living and assisted living communities.
Most of these courses are held in a series spanning a 3-month semester. By using Eversound and other technology, Retirement Unlimited is able to provide engaging classes that lead to more purposeful living.
Education as a wellness program
Residents are excited to have a purpose, and they are excited to learn. To maximize their residents’ interest in the program, the staff at Retirement Unlimited communities surveys their residents to identify popular interests, and unique passions. The most popular classes are ones in the areas of music history and art. They also find residents throughout all of their communities tend to prefer lecture-based classes.
This is not just an education program, it’s a wellness program. Retirement Unlimited finds that having these regularly scheduled courses on the calendar each week gives residents something to consistently look forward to and gives them a reason to get up in the morning and connect with others in the community.
We believe that purpose is the biggest driver of wellbeing. And there’s a lot of studies to support this.
Technology for experiential learning
Despite the common assumption that older adults are against new technology due to the unfamiliarity, Mary-Kate notes that her staff finds that most of their residents involved in RUI are open to using technology. It’s simply something that needs to be properly introduced, and taught so that they feel comfortable using it. They want to use it, they just need to be shown how.
She notes that by having her staff using the technology themselves, and introducing it in a fun way, like with a silent disco, it becomes less intimidating and they quickly become excited to use it.
Auditory labs using Eversound
One of the experiential learning opportunities provided by RUI is their Auditory Learning Lab. It’s also one of their most loved ways of using Eversound in the community.
Using Eversound for the auditory component of their learning labs is beneficial for all course attendees, not just those with hearing impairment. Eversound allows them to drown out the background noise, and really focus on the experience. As a result, the residents become more engaged in all aspects of the course.
Eversound has been a wonderful addition to our programming within all of our communities. It is truly amazing to see when a resident puts the headset on and it opens up a new world for them.
Impact of resident leadership
Everyone wants to feel a significant sense of purpose, no matter one’s age. So, it’s no surprise that the residents of Retirement Unlimited communities often jump at the opportunity to lead their own course, through their RUI Fellows program that gives them the opportunity to teach classes or learning labs on topics most important to them.
The benefits of resident-led courses doesn’t just reap benefits for the resident fellows, but for those that attend their courses as well.