I was pleased to be the innovation keynote speaker recently at the Rocky Mountain Home Care Conference in Beaver Creek. The topic “Turning Your Employees Into Problem Solvers” was well received by a packed crowd of people in the home care and hospice industry.
One of the things I like most about being a speaker is being able to research and learn about so many different industries. And I learned a lot about the home care industry that I didn’t know. A statistic from AARP says that 90% of older adults say they would rather stay in their own homes as they age. For people who aren’t frail enough to need around the clock care, but do need some help, home care is a perfect solution. And innovation in home care technology is increasing. These can be broken down into active and passive technologies.
Active technologies require someone to activate the device. Passive technologies allow a patient to be monitored without having someone around to activate it. This can include devices such as sensors and cameras.
GreatCall Responder is a wireless device that helps give older adults added security wherever they are. It connects to highly trained response agents who can pinpoint their location and send help if needed. www.greatcall.com
Older adults who live alone often have to remember to take certain medications. This is where the TabSafe System comes in handy. The base unit allows the pharmacy or caregiver to load medication into a cartridge, and its patented design allows only the right amount of medication to be dispensed. The TabSafe Personal Health Website contains all of the data concerning the various medications and keeps track of things like scheduling, drug contents, and when the prescription needs to be refilled.
Another safety innovation is a product called Fire Avert which automatically shuts off a stove when the smoke alarm goes off. It was invented by Firefighter Peter Thorpe who was tired of responding to unattended stove fires that could have been avoided. For older people who are living alone, (or anyone else, for that matter), this innovation could be a lifesaver.
And for the home care provider, there is a mobile app from AtHoc which will summon help for the worker or their patient at the touch of a button on their smartphone.
The home care industry will continue to evolve and be disrupted as all industries are. But even as new technology makes their jobs easier, the human touch and human connection will always be needed. That’s one thing that never changes.