[By Brad Ross]
With 10,000 baby boomers reaching the age of 65 every single day and that number expected to continue into the 2030s, the demand for in home care is growing rapidly. On top of the increasing senior population, the “three D’s”- divorce, distance, and debt also play a role in the demand for alternative assistance. With high divorce rates comes high rates of “solo seniors” without a spouse to care for them. Their children are also far less likely to move back home and more likely to carry debt so they cannot afford to pay for or take time off to care for their parents.
While these factors will benefit home care agencies and cause more demand for their services it could also cause a decrease in the quality of care being performed. Even today, great caregivers are hard to come by. As the demand for more caregivers increases, so does the chances agencies will hire less qualified individuals to fill those positions.
How does the home care industry take on more clients, and continue to offer as good if not better-quality care? Aging in place, and senior care technology is primed to fill that gap.
Home care agencies are looking for ways to improve efficiency, develop more customized care plans, and provide better-quality care by utilizing insights and data that only technology can provide. Motion sensors, wearables, voice activation, connected bluetooth home and health devices such as blood pressure cuffs, scales, blood glucose monitors etc. can give agencies a holistic view of the health and activity of their clients to proactively prevent problems before they become catastrophic.
Companies like Onköl, CarePredict, and AICare have developed products that can push individualized data to multiple stakeholders (caregiver, family member, physician) for clients with different conditions and concerns. From memory care, to congestive heart failure, to simply being proactive in monitoring a client or loved one, there is finally user-friendly tech that can assist.
By developing a more customized care plan and utilizing client and caregiver data, agencies can become extremely efficient and even increase the quality of their services. CarePredict can even determine how much time services like bathing and transferring take for each client to develop a pricing structure that reflects the services provided. Knowing how much time services take also allows agencies to spend the proper amount of time with each client and utilize their staff more effectively.
Nothing will replace human touch but using technology can certainly improve it. Look for tech to make a significant impact on home care in the near future.