News | January 11, 2023

Front Porch Center For Innovation And Wellbeing Launches New Online Resource Focused On Behavioral Health And Wellness

GLENDALE, CALIF.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

The Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW) announced today that it has launched a new online resource designed to assist affordable senior housing providers establish technology-based behavioral health and wellness programs in their communities.

The “Telewellness Playbook,” funded through generous grants from the AARP Foundation and the Consumer Technology Association Foundation, is freely available to download at fpciw.org. The six-part toolkit gives senior resident service coordinators, social workers, property managers and others a road map on how to support residents living with anxiety, depression, loneliness and social isolation.

The playbook also helps providers assess community-based resources that address behavioral health and wellness and to adapt those resources to best meet their residents’ needs. These include access to the latest data and research on social isolation and behavioral health, the technologies available to combat these issues, how to design a program that meets specific needs of each provider, and the identification of funding sources to maintain programs and services.

“The impact of social isolation and loneliness among older adults cannot be overstated,” said Davis Park, vice president of the FPCIW. “We created this playbook to serve as a valuable resource for supporting the mental health and wellbeing needs of underserved older adults. It not only provides resources but also addresses cultural and language barriers that may exist among vulnerable senior populations living in affordable housing communities, including government-subsidized programs such as HUD Section 8 with strict income guidelines. Affordable housing communities managed by Front Porch’s CARING Housing Ministries subsidiary will also benefit from this playbook.”

“Social isolation and loneliness harm older adults’ physical and emotional well-being, costing Medicare almost $7 billion a year in increased health care spending,” said AARP Foundation Interim President Emily Allen. “The AARP Foundation is pleased to support helpful resources like the ‘Telewellness Playbook’ that help ease social isolation and loneliness for older adults living in affordable senior housing residences.”

In addition to posting the playbook on the FPCIW website’s library of innovation reports, best practices, and other content, it will be disseminated through multiple digital distribution points such as social media channels, virtual conference presentations, and via the FPCIW’s network of affordable housing partners.

“The CTA Foundation is thrilled to support the work FPCIW has done to test and compile telewellness best practices in this playbook,” said CTA Executive Director Stephen Ewell. “The last few years have highlighted the importance of having telewellness solutions as a tool to reach older adults in a variety of environments. This playbook will help more communities implement solutions benefiting countless people.”

Mental health issues, including social isolation and loneliness, have been major challenges for seniors nationwide, particularly during the COVID pandemic. According to a nationwide study conducted in 2021 by the senior living advocacy organization LeadingAge, resident mental health issues scored as a higher challenge than staffing, funding, inspections, compliance, vaccine mandates, vacancy issues, fair housing issues and disaster preparedness. This study of more than 5,000 nonprofit aging service providers confirmed a 2019 National Institute of Health (NIH) report that found that social isolation and loneliness are linked to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, anxiety/depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and even death.

“The consequences of loneliness and social isolation extend beyond the individual to negatively affect caregivers, the healthcare system, and the general economy as a whole,” said Kari Olson, president of the FPCIW. “Just as telehealth has made access to consultation and care more accessible to millions of Americans, our new ‘Telewellness Playbook' can help address the growing mental health challenges facing seniors and assist senior providers with new ways to serve residents and fulfill their mission.”

About the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing

The Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW) is part of Front Porch, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit providers of senior living, affordable housing and community services. In collaboration with innovative partner organizations, the FPCIW pilots and scales promising innovative solutions to solve real-world problems and meet the needs of older adults. Learn about FPCIW’s work by reading its impact stories. The FPCIW is a 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 in the future. For more information visit fpciw.org.

About Front Porch

Front Porch is a not-for-profit system that supports 53 communities, 7,500 residents, and more than 10,000 participants in programs and services nationwide. Its mission is to inspire and build community, cultivating meaningful relationships and experiences that respond creatively to changing needs. Learn more at frontporch.net.

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