TECHNOLOGY IS THE NEW FRONTIER FOR EFFICIENT ELDER CARE
By Jeff Bevis, Caring Senior Service
With more than 73 million Baby Boomers reaching the age of 65 or older by 2030, the focus on helping these seniors age in place with the use of technology has become more relevant than ever.
In fact, the discussion of repurposing existing technologies, using technology to gather and assess data, and the employment of patient monitoring devices to improve efficiency is at the forefront of the home care industry as we continue to face staffing challenges to keep up with increasing demand.
Studies also show that the majority of older Americans prefer to age at home. This places the use of technology squarely at the intersection of the largest aging population in the country’s history and the largest number of seniors who want to remain in their homes as they age.
Emerging technologies should be employed to keep our seniors safe at home while also more effectively training caregivers. But implementing technology is also vital for providing seniors with the mental and physical stimulation that improves their health and allows families to stay in touch.
Safety and Convenience
One of the best ways technology can be repurposed is by using smart home features to assist our elders in moving around their homes safely. These can be programmed for voice activation so that loved ones can turn on lights or alarms with a command. They can also be set up so that adult children can help monitor their parents for movement and falls by simply logging onto an app with established personal support ready to be there when help is needed.
In addition, seniors can also take advantage of modern applications to order food, have groceries delivered and request ride-sharing services.
The use of technology can also help seniors stay alert and remain active while they stay at home.
Smart TVs can be hooked up to the internet so that seniors can participate with exercise videos or keep up with their favorite programming. Tablets can be employed to help older Americans play brainstimulating games and stay informed through selected online sources.
Caregiver Training Is Vital
One of the most important aspects of the instantaneous communication that contemporary technology provides is the ability to push out both training and important announcements to caregivers in the field.
Caregiver training can be embedded into existing software so that it shows which training courses have been completed and which courses still need to be taken. This not only helps caregivers keep up with their training and expand their professional development but allows their employers to confirm that training has been completed.
Staying in Touch
Finally, with families most often spread out across the country or separated because of other professional and personal responsibilities, technology is important to help seniors stay in touch with their loved ones.
Since isolation is a common problem for seniors who choose to stay at home, tablets and smartphones are an excellent way for seniors to stay in touch with family, friends, caregivers, and medical professionals.
But we shouldn’t forget the human touch. While technology can help home care professionals and the families of older loved ones provide more efficient care, it is no substitute for the hands-on care that keeps our seniors healthy and happy at home.
Emerging technology is giving us new opportunities to better serve our aging population more effectively; however, the personal touch and connection to each client and their family remains vital to providing efficient, high-quality care.
Jeff Bevis is the chief operating officer of Caring Senior Service. Bevis has spent more than 20 years building successful brands in the home care industry and more than 30 years creating operational experiences that help brands grow. In his role at Caring Senior Service, Bevis has been tasked with showcasing the home care company’s proprietary software, Tendio, expanding the company’s franchising opportunities and accelerating its revenue growth. For more information about IFA franchisor member Caring Senior Service, please visit franchise.org/franchiseopportunities/caring-senior-service.