Front Porch receives grant from Consumer Technology Association Foundation to expand Voice First initiative

Category: Press Releases

Spread the love

CTA Foundation grant supports the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing’s work in application of Voice First and smart home technologies to enable greater independence and social engagement among older adults.

GLENDALE, Calif., July 25, 2018 – The 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 received a grant from The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Foundation for its Voice-activated Independence and Smart Home Engagement Project (VISHN).

The VISHN project utilizes Voice First and smart home technologies to address challenges of social engagement and independence among older adults. As outlined in the IBM’s study “Loneliness and the Aging Population: How Businesses and Governments Can Address a Looming Crisis,” the statistics on older adults experiencing social isolation are alarming: 29% increased risk of cardiovascular disease, 64% increased risk of dementia, and 26% increased risk of death. The situation is compounded by the fact the adult population 65 and older is rapidly growing and expected to double reaching more than 98 million by 2060, according to the U.S. Census.

VISHN leverages the valuable social capital of community leadership, life enrichment, and care staff in collaboration with residents to promote the adoption of voice assistants and smart home technologies. VISHN utilizes a unique FPCIW engagement strategy designed to build community and strengthen relationships through the deployment of innovations such as the Amazon Alexa.

After successfully piloting Amazon Alexa last year at Carlsbad By The Sea in San Diego, one of the Front Porch retirement communities, FPCIW found that 71.43% of residents in its study felt more connected to family, friends, and the community since the start of the Voice First pilot. FPCIW is now expanding the initiative to eight additional locations that include senior living and affordable housing communities, ultimately reaching 400 homes.

“The CTA Foundation is pleased to continue our support of the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing. The pilot on voice-activated technology shows how important this technology can be for people of all ages and abilities“ said Stephen Ewell, executive director of the CTA Foundation. “This grant will build on prior success in using the combination of voice and smart home technologies to enable greater independence for older adults.”

The CTA grant began in April and will continue for 12 months. The project is currently underway at three Front Porch retirement communities: Casa de Mañana in La Jolla, Sunny View in Cupertino and Walnut Village in Anaheim. Meanwhile, Vista Del Monte in Santa Barbara, Kingsley Manor in Los Angeles and two affordable housing communities managed by CARING Housing Ministries, a Front Porch partner, are slated to join the pilot soon.

“We are very excited by the positive impact this work is already having on the lives of older adults and their loved ones” said Kari Olson, chief innovation and technology officer, Front Porch and president, Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing. “The VISHN project is a fabulous example of what can be achieved when key stakeholders across the ecosystem, from older adults, to families and caregivers, to solutions providers, funders and more, work together in partnership to co-create adoption models for emerging solutions like Voice First and smart home technologies.”

This is the second consecutive year the FPCIW has been recognized by the CTA Foundation for its innovative technologies benefitting older adults. In 2017, FPCIW earned the same prestigious grant for its “Hearables for All” project, which piloted wearable hearing devices in its retirement communities, reaching 840 older adults with hearing loss.

“We are grateful to receive the prestigious CTA grant for our work with Voice First and smart home technologies in our communities,” said Davis Park, director of the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing. “We continue to be astounded by the positive impact on the overall wellbeing, satisfaction and social engagement among the older adults we serve.”

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.