Embrace Existing and New Technologies as Your Opportunity
In the old days, if a senior or a caregiver had an issue, their only option was often to pick up the phone and call someone to try and solve their issue. Now, there are various ways you can use technology to address problems before the senior even needs to call, and these can also help you reduce hospitalizations. These include existing and emerging technologies to allow seniors to communicate in times of distress through voice activation, wearables and even virtual reality. The emerging trend is now to have technologies assist the caregiver in providing better care as per the individualized plan of care for each individual. Supportive technology to the caregiver is incredibly helpful in attracting, growing and retaining quality certified caregiver staff.
Passive versus Active Home Care Technologies
One way to differentiate between technologies is by marking them as passive or active. The differentiating factor between the two technologies is through indicating whether the user is required to be trained for its usage. Active technologies require an individual to operate it, thus requiring instruction or training for its usage. Examples of passive technology include cameras or sensors that can monitor individuals without a user operating them. Alerts, reminders and medications dispensers are examples of active technologies.
Technologies that can Help Home Care Agencies
There are a growing number of Virtual Reality (VR) applications that caregivers use as an effective therapeutic tool for individuals with dementia. An example is to provide those with dementia the possibility of retrieving fond memories of people “visiting” or virtually visiting past much-loved locations.
VR applications also provide caregivers with the opportunity to better understand what their dementia patients go through on a daily basis. These unique forms of educating caregivers allow them to naturally become more understanding and empathetic towards the individuals suffering from dementia.
Web-based and mobile educational platforms have been sprouting geared at strengthening the caregiver skills of both the formal caregiver and the family caregiver. Mobile education has been developed as an assistive technology to allow the caregiver to have access anytime, anywhere.
The data collected through advanced technologies such as machine learning will potentially create better caregiving outcomes, such as the ability to match caregiver and senior in a more efficient manner.