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Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing’s “Hearables for All” Project Receives CTA Foundation Accessible Technology Grant

GLENDALE, Calif., Aug. 01, 2017 -- Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW), part of Front Porch, a not-for-profit organization that serves individuals and families through full-service retirement, active adult communities and affordable housing communities, announced today it was chosen as a grant recipient by The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Foundation for its “Hearables for All” project.

Eversound Photo
Seniors test wearable hearing devices at Front Porch.


“Hearables for All” is a 12-month program launched by the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing to explore the next generation of wearable hearing devices for older adults with hearing loss. Front Porch is among nine organizations to receive an award that totals more than $500,000 in grants from the CTA Foundation. The project will explore a group listening system and additionally test the effectiveness and viability of emerging smartphone-controlled Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs) which enhance listening through wireless in-ear buds.

The American Academy of Audiology notes a correlation between untreated hearing loss and depression and self-isolation. The “Hearables for All” Project seeks to overcome these challenges by promoting social wellness and increasing engagement among older adults.

“The health and wellness impact of hearing loss can’t be overstated,” said Kari Olson, president, Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing, and chief innovation and technology officer for Front Porch.  “As we age, the inability to hear conversations and participate in discussions progressively takes us down a path of self-isolation. This is particularly true in group settings where it can be difficult for a listener to track multiple speakers at once. The mounting evidence of deteriorating health conditions due to social disengagement is impossible to ignore,” Olson said.

The “Hearables for All” project began at Front Porch this summer using emerging yet readily available hearing solutions. FPCIW has started to deploy Eversound, a group listening system designed to combat natural hearing loss by allowing for more engaging group events. The Eversound system broadcasts events through multiple headsets equipped with volume controls, reaching and including multiple participants in an audience. The project will also soon begin testing with PSAP earbud products such as Doppler Labs’ Here One and Nuheara’s IQbuds.

“We’re in the midst of an exciting explosion of hearing solutions that is already disrupting the traditional hearing device market, and the impact potential of these new solutions will be enormous for wellbeing and independence of older adults,” said Davis Park, director of the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing. “This generous grant from the CTA Foundation enables us to test these consumer solutions and accelerate their adoption,” said Park.

The hearing products will be tested throughout multiple Front Porch communities at Town Hall meetings, among select Front Porch residents and other senior communities. Ultimately, the insights gleaned from the FPCIW “Hearables for All” project will benefit not only Front Porch residents, but the older adult population as a whole, which is central to the mission of the Center.

“The Consumer Technology Association Foundation is thrilled to be supporting Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing’s ‘Hearables for All’ project,” said Stephen Ewell, executive director, Consumer Technology Association Foundation. “We are at an exciting moment in technological innovation related to hearables. I expect this project will show that new tools to help people hear can make a major difference in the quality of life for older adults.”

A cornerstone of the Front Porch mission is the cultivation of partnerships. FPCIW collaborates with innovative partner organizations to meet the diverse needs of residents through technology solutions that make a difference in the lives of older adults.

About The CTA Foundation
The CTA Foundation, a public, national foundation affiliated with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™, was launched in 2012 with the mission to link seniors and people with disabilities with technologies to enhance their lives. The foundation strategically supports programs that affect these communities and facilitates dialog among industry, consumers, government, advocacy groups and other key stakeholders.

About FPCIW 
The Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW) is part of Front Porch, one of Southern California’s largest not-for-profit providers of retirement living, active adult and affordable housing communities. In collaboration with innovative partner organizations, the FPCIW reaches across cultural and socioeconomic barriers to meet the diverse needs and enhance the well-being of Front Porch residents and the older adult population at large. Using technology as a tool to solve real world problems, the FPCIW pilots and diffuses innovative technology solutions that change lives and make a difference, especially for older adults. Its core initiatives aim to assist in maintaining brain health, enhance social connectedness, promote engagement and growth, empower control over health and wellness, prevent emergencies or serious events and increase resources and support for formal and informal caregivers.  

The FPCIW has achieved sustainable outcomes with real impact, a challenge in this sector. As a creative ecosystem developer, the FPCIW builds pilots using a collaborative 360-degree approach to matching needs, anticipating barriers, identifying solutions and executing steps to successful implementation and adoption. Learn about FPCIW’s work by reading its impact stories. The FPCIW is the signature program of Humanly Possible®, Front Porch’s commitment to cause-based innovation and dedication to doing everything humanly possible to creatively meet needs now and for the future. For more information visit www.fpciw.org.

About Front Porch
Front Porch is a not-for-profit organization based in Glendale, Calif., that serves individuals and families through full-service retirement, active adult communities, affordable housing communities and related management and development services. Front Porch retirement communities offer options ranging from independent living to skilled care, including assisted living and memory care. Front Porch holds an A credit rating from FitchRatings and an A- credit rating from Standard & Poor’s. Founded in 1999, Front Porch embraces a leading-edge approach to enhance wellbeing with innovative communities and programs that meet the changing needs of people as they age. The Front Porch culture is driven by Humanly Possible®, a commitment to cause-based innovation that harnesses the innovative spirit of all of its staff in an effort to do whatever is humanly possible to meet emerging needs related to aging. Specialized outreach programs like the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing, Social Accountability in Action, and the Front Porch support the Front Porch belief in understanding and meeting the needs of the individuals and communities we serve.

Front Porch is comprised of 10 full-service retirement communities in California and two adult living communities: one in Louisiana and one in Florida. Front Porch also serves individuals and families through 25 affordable housing communities managed by CARING Housing Ministries, a division of Front Porch.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/666b6c83-4818-40af-9ba2-c1f51c1a1859.

For more information contact:
Rita McNeil and/or Masha Rumer
FrontPorch@graham-associates.com 
(415) 986-7212

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