MDHearing is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with H.O.M.E. (Housing Opportunities & Maintenance for the Elderly), the only nonprofit in Chicago that provides intergenerational housing and support services to seniors with low incomes. We’ve challenged ourselves to achieve the ambitious goal of donating $100,000 worth of hearing aids to approximately 250 seniors most in need in the Chicagoland area.
“I am floored by this very generous offer of hearing aids,” said Gail Schechter, Executive Director of H.O.M.E.
MDHearing will start by providing free hearing test screenings and free hearing aids to residents at the three H.O.M.E. buildings (Nathalie Salmon House, Pat Crowley House, Blackhawk Manor) with assistance from H.O.M.E. staff Cassidy Olson (Director of Development) and Nikki Moustafa (Housing Director).
“We’re absolutely thrilled about this partnership,” said Cassidy Olson. “It’s in all of our best interest to take our time and make a strategic plan about how to roll out the program.”
“This is so exciting,” added Nikki Moustafa. “Thank you for all your hard work. Our residents will be so excited; these hearing aids will be life-changing!”
Once established, MDH will leverage H.O.M.E.’s outreach capabilities to increase the number of seniors served by this program. H.O.M.E. will act as a conduit between MDHearing and seniors to facilitate the free hearing tests and the ordering of free hearing aids.
Improved Hearing is Linked to Well-Being in Seniors
October is both National Audiology Awareness Month and National Protect Your Hearing Month, and what better way to highlight the significance than by providing seniors with free hearing tests and hearing aids.
According to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), half of Americans over the age of 60 suffer from some level of hearing loss. With our aging population, PCAST estimates that the number of Americans with hearing loss will soar to 82 million by 2040.
Extensive research links hearing loss to social isolation, Alzheimer’s, other dementias, cognitive decline, loss of speech comprehension, higher risk of unintentional falls, and depression. However, many older adults with hearing loss struggle to access hearing aids, which can often exceed $3,000. To meet this need, MDHearing developed the MDHearing PRO, a device that usually retails for $399 a pair, which we will be donating to the seniors H.O.M.E. serves.
The idea of helping to restore the independence of low-income seniors was an especially strong motivation for MDHearing when developing this initiative. The majority of residents at H.O.M.E. sites do not have family or friends to act as advocates or advisors who could help facilitate an appointment with an audiologist and help navigate the financial components of purchasing hearing aids. By partnering with H.O.M.E, we hope to help shoulder that burden, making the process of obtaining a hearing aid more convenient and without cost to those most in need.
MDHearing’s Goal Of Charitable Giving
MDHearing understands that businesses are part of a wider community and can use their resources to bring positive change. As such, we have been looking at ways to expand our charitable contributions.
This initiative was spearheaded by our very own Natalie Ziemba, Content & Affiliate Marketing Manager, who has a long relationship with H.O.M.E.
“I’ve been involved with H.O.M.E. in some way or another for over 20 years,” said Natalie. “When our CEO, Doug Breaker, broached the subject of charitable giving, I knew it was the perfect organization with which to partner.”
Upon Natalie’s recommendation to partner with H.O.M.E., and learning about the impact our hearing aids could have for seniors struggling with hearing loss, CEO Doug Breaker was inspired:
At MDHearing, our goal is to help one million Americans hear better by 2025.”
A Perfect Partnership
There is a great mission alignment between MDHearing and the H.O.M.E. organization. Founded in 1982, H.O.M.E. aims to foster joy, independence, and connection for older adults with low incomes. H.O.M.E. helps Chicago’s low-income older adults live independent and socially engaged lives by providing intergenerational housing, home repair services, a shopping bus, moving assistance, and caring volunteers.
“This is such an incredible partnership, and I am so happy that this is moving forward,” said Brittany Norment, Communications Consultant at Karma in Bloom Media. “I am really excited for what this will do for low-income seniors with hearing loss here in Chicago.”
MDHearing’s partnership with H.O.M.E is just the first step in providing support to seniors in need. Eventually, we would like to expand to more seniors in the Chicagoland area who may not be living in one of H.O.M.E.’s residences, but still may be part of their database.