At the new Village of Bedford Walk senior living community in Columbia, MO, residents’ comfort and freedom is a core principle and a top selling point. One of the unique aspects of Bedford Walk that affords residents more freedom is the inclusion of advanced, yet easy-to-use audio systems in all of the community’s common areas. Whether they are enjoying the property’s library, billiards room, or cafe, residents can plug their mobile devices into the ELAN Entertainment & Control System and play their own music through the in-ceiling speakers in each room.
According to the electronics installation team at D&M Sound, the key to providing high-tech systems in retirement communities is ensuring flawless reliability, consistency, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
ELAN gTP4s are located in common areas.
“Any resident at The Village of Bedford Walk can connect their phone or tablet with the ELAN system through each room’s auxiliary cable and start playing their music through the room’s speakers immediately,” said Anne Moore, president of D&M Sound. “This lets residents be in control of their environment and spend time with friends as they would at a private home. To offer this freedom, The Village needed a foolproof control system that can be easily understood and controlled with no training. ELAN delivers that with simple, intuitive controls that are the same on every touch panel.”
D&M Sound installed two ELAN S1616A Audio Controllers, an ELAN gSC2 System Controller, and a digital tuner, accessible through nine four-inch in-wall ELAN gTP4 touchpanels located in each of the common areas. Residents don’t need to install anything or change settings on their personal mobile devices — they can just plug in and play.
To maintain simplicity, each room is a unique audio zone, and each touchpanel controls only that room’s speakers. That means there is no opportunity for users to accidentally change settings or access unauthorized controls to other rooms or systems.
Limiting residents’ access is important not only for their convenience and ease-of-use, but also because the main reception office uses the system for overall control of the facility. Through the ELAN system, property managers control each zone of audio, including the outdoor areas where rock speakers provide background music for residents, and all digital signage on the property.
The Village’s owners, JES Holdings, have contracted D&M Sound many times to outfit their Missouri communities with ELAN control technologies. According to JES Holdings Executive vice president Will Markel, the partnership has endured thanks to the incredible service and functionality that D&M Sound and ELAN offer.
“We hold people to very high professional standards,” Markel said, “and D&M Sound and ELAN are exemplary partners that consistently uphold those standards. Our communities provide an alternative to the traditional notion of retirement villages, and the ELAN system is a perk that most of our guests have never seen before, and overwhelmingly enjoy using. It’s really all about simplicity. We strive to provide a relaxing and positive environment for all our residents, and giving them control of music throughout all the common areas is one way we do that.”
Looking forward, D&M Sound envisions advanced technologies becoming the norm in retirement communities and elder care facilities across the country.
“Like it does in every other aspect of our lives, technology will play an increasingly vital role in managing the health and daily schedules of millions of aging Americans,” Moore added. “That’s another reason we and our clients love the ELAN system – it can be upgraded and expanded as new technologies appear or evolve. Whether it be access to personal music, videos or digital photos, automation of lights and climate controls in resident rooms, or the coming wave of telemedicine, the future of usable technologies for our older citizens looks very bright.”