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Category: Healthcare Technology

Solutions for better senior care – Part #4


One of the biggest problems facing the senior care industry is attracting and retaining qualified medical professionals to care for patients in their homes. And one of the biggest problems for those medical professionals, in turn, is coping with the vast array of required technological devices and procedures while maintaining compliance with state and federal licensing/certification requirements.

In a hospital setting, a nurse or other medical professional typically becomes well-acquainted with the technologies, techniques, policies and procedures used in that particular care setting. In visiting patients’ homes, however, those same professionals are expected to interpret and implement detailed instructions, often with insufficient guidance, for using unfamiliar and highly technical equipment. Such situations can lead to liability issues for the medical professional along with job dissatisfaction that can result in seeking employment elsewhere.

IndependaTVe™ provides a better, simpler way for home health care companies to incorporate technology into their caregiving. This easy-to-use technology solution offers multiple benefits for patients and the medical professionals who care for them.

Consistency for all users

User-friendly software known as Angela guides the adoption of IndependaTVe™ for both patients and caregivers. The result is a consistent interface that supports users in accomplishing their goals quickly and with a minimal learning curve.

Better patient education

Medical providers can easily deliver educational and informational videos to patients providing instruction on how to take medications and care for wounds, leading to fewer misunderstandings, fewer errors and reducing hospital readmission occurrence. . Condition specific videos such as for heart failure and diabetes can be reviewed at the patient’s pace to reinforce and augment in person education sessions.

Better patient monitoring

Caregivers can use the video chat connection in IndependaTVe™ to check in on patients more frequently. Consistent monitoring can allow caregivers to spot and act on potential problems or situations.

Better support for independent living

Functionality like remote medication reminders in IndependaTVe™ supports patients’ independence and allows them to age in the environment of their choice.

Better patient interaction with providers

Keeping communication channels open and centralized can increase trust and reduce costs across the board for both patients,home medical and care providers.

Effective & efficient senior care requires changes

To attract and retain highly valuable, exceptionally qualified medical professionals, home health care agencies should consider consolidating technology. Providing user-friendly solutions like IndependaTVe™ can benefit patients and caregivers in a number of ways.

Read Part #5: The future of the senior care industry

 





Closing the tech gap at your senior living community


Baby boomers coming into your senior living community are likely to be on top of the latest technology. In fact, research indicates that boomers make up the fastest-growing group of smartphone owners, and they constitute a third of all Internet users.

For your older residents, though, the story may be quite different. AARP reports that 15 percent of adults in the United States, about 37 million people, don’t use the Web; many of those people are older seniors. Unfortunately, these seniors may be missing out on technology that could enhance their lives. What are the technologies that can most benefit seniors, and how can you get the hesitant among your resident population on board?

Wearable technologies

Your residents may be surprised how much they love the new wearable technologies. Fitness trackers like Fitbit and Jawbone Up track steps and sleep, and they provide gentle prompts if activity falls off — or kudos for exceeding personal norms. Apple Watch and Android Wear go a step further, giving users access to a variety of helpful apps.

IndependaTVe™

One of the great features of IndependaTVe™ is its ease of use. If your residents watch TV, they already know how to use IndependaTVe™. In minutes, they can be video chatting with children and grandchildren, who log in to the intuitive dashboard via their desktops or smartphones.

The Internet

While more than half of seniors overall are online, the ones who aren’t tend to be in the older group. Many simply haven’t tried it, and many really don’t want to. But for those who are open to learning something new, the Internet can reveal a whole new world of news, information, historical resources and distance learning.

Persuading the tech-wary

The best way to persuade residents who haven’t yet jumped into the tech world is to get them to dip in a toe. Start with something that’s extremely easy to use like IndependaTVe™. Once seniors gain a little confidence in their tech abilities, they may be fully on board in no time.

To learn more about the IndependaTVe™ solution for your organization, download our free brochure.





The benefits of social media for your senior living community — without the downsides


It’s widely understood that social media offers both advantages and disadvantages. On the negative side, privacy concerns, computer viruses, spam and other issues make some seniors timid about venturing onto public social media sites.

Fortunately, your senior living residents don’t need to join social media to stay connected; they can easily engage with others right on their TVs, in the security and privacy of their own residences. With IndependaTVe™, your residents gain the benefits of social media without the accompanying concerns.

Social and video sharing

Just like on popular social media sites, IndependaTVe offers your residents the opportunity to engage with their loved ones through social and video sharing. Residents can exchange messages with children, grandchildren and other loved ones. And the ability to quickly begin a video chat with relatives means seniors never feel lonely or isolated.

Staying close with loved ones

Seniors often fear that when they move to a senior living community, they’ll become disconnected. With IndependaTVe™, your residents gain the ability to communicate immediately and conveniently. In an instant, they can be up to date on the day’s happenings, whether it’s a grandchild’s visit from the Tooth Fairy or the announcement of an important milestone like an engagement.

Peace of mind for remote family members

Adult children often worry when the miles separate them from their parents. With IndependaTVe™ as an amenity offered in your community, your residents’ children will feel more connected and more positive about their parents’ living environment.

Feeling of community belonging

With IndependaTVe™, seniors remain connected to events and people they care about. For someone too frail to attend an important family event in person, the video sharing functionality of IndependaTVe™ can transport them there instantly, right from the comfort of their home at your senior living community.

Give your residents social media-style benefits

By offering IndependaTVe™ as a standard amenity in your residences, you differentiate your community in the market. You also offer your residents and their loved ones all the positives of social media without the concerns.

To learn more about the IndependaTVe™ solution for your organization, download our free brochure.





Lifestyle options play vital role in modern senior living


Most senior living communities offer services and amenities. But when a prospective resident sits down with one of your marketing counselors, do they get the full picture of your community’s lifestyle options? Today’s seniors are looking for experiences that will enhance their lives as they age. To offer seniors a valuable lifestyle experience, consider giving attention to the following three vital areas.

Lifelong learning

Today’s seniors want to continue growing, learning and keeping their minds active. If your senior living community is near universities, community colleges or other educational institutions, look into partnerships that can benefit your residents.

To serve seniors who aren’t able to physically attend lectures away from your community, bring in professors and other experts to speak on current events and topics of interest. Distance learning programs also offer classes on every imaginable topic and can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer.

Engagement

Today’s seniors came of age in an era when people knew their neighbors, and most crave connection and engagement. Along with activities that get seniors out of their residences and interacting with others, IndependaTVe™ provides a simple, easy way for your residents to engage with loved ones. Using social sharing and video chat, residents can virtually visit with family members anytime and “attend” family events like ball games, weddings and graduations.

Choice

The hallmark of the person-centered care movement is choice — in dining options, levels of care, residential finishes and more. Your residents want control over their lifestyle, and you can provide them with this valuable benefit by allowing choices in as many areas as possible.

Don’t just offer amenities, offer lifestyle options

In the modern senior living industry, communities compete by offering fresh, new amenities. You can differentiate your senior living community by providing lifestyle options like engagement, choice and lifelong learning.

To learn more about the IndependaTVe™ solution for your organization, download our free brochure.





Where can technology take your senior living community?


Technology has made significant inroads in senior communities in recent years. And as technological capabilities continue to progress, senior living communities are discovering opportunities to improve productivity, efficiency and residents’ quality of life. Where might quickly advancing tech take your community over the next five years?

Technology replacing staff

A 2011 study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons noted that without significant expansion of training programs, the ongoing medical labor shortage would stand at 20 percent less than demand by 2025.

Some experts predict that increasingly, technology will step in to meet demand for nurses and nursing assistants. While the technology to make this happen is still developing, many communities already are using electronic medical records, smart beds and other point-of-care technologies to increase staff productivity.

Better communications and metrics logging

Technologies that facilitate easy communication and logging of health markers also can aid communities in covering staff shortfalls. But such technologies also go further because they can serve independent residents as well as those needing nursing care.

With IndependaTVe™, activities directors, security staff and others can easily communicate with many residents at once rather than slipping fliers under doors. Loved ones can check on their senior relatives remotely — through a simple-to-use dashboard available on desktop computers and mobile devices — rather than contacting staff members. And caregivers can log up-to-date health metrics conveniently and immediately.

Reducing injuries, saving time

Many communities already are using technologies like electronic lifts that reduce injuries. As technology advances, improvements will continue in the areas that produce the most injuries and accidents in senior living communities. For example, robotic medication dispensers can ensure that residents who are physically able to take pills on their own get the right amounts of their medications. Documentation technologies also continue to improve, and medical staff soon may be able to speak commands rather than type them, keeping their hands free.

Where is technology taking your community?

Are there areas in which implementing new technologies could make your senior living community more productive, better informed and safer? Improved communications, higher efficiency and reduced injuries are just a few of the areas that will benefit as technology continues to advance.

To learn more about the IndependaTVe™ solution for your organization, download our free brochure.





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  • Our guests use the video chat and photo and message sharing features of Independa to stay connected with their families. In fact this week we admitted a guest who has a daughter in Georgia and another in Italy. I spoke with the daughter about how to share photos and messages and to make video calls from her Independa device, and later went to see the guest about how it was going. She said to me “Kelly this video chat is so cool! I don’t care how long I have to be in here now because I can see my daughters!” It’s just amazing to see one of our guests be able to connect with a loved one all the way from Italy!

    Kelly Miles, Director of Rec Therapy
  • You don’t need to keep calling me now to remind me, my TV just told me to take my medication!

    93 Year Old Independa User
  • I love that Dad can get digital photos now. He didn’t want a Facebook account so the only time he would see any photos was when we came over to visit and we’d show him on our iPhone. Now he gets them himself on the TV all the time, and when people come to visit him he proudly shows them his photo album on the TV.

    USA Properties
  • I’ve been using video chat and it has opened up my world – my family who live close by still visit once a week, but now I get to see them every day. I also get to see the rest of the family who live interstate and can’t come to visit. I also video chat with old friends who I haven’t seen for years. It has made such a big difference to my life, I don’t feel isolated anymore. I highly recommend this to other people; it really does change your life.

    USA Properties
  • I live in California, my 80 year-old dad lives in Texas and my 21 year-old daughter lives in Colorado. My daughter spends all her time on social media using her smart phone, whereas my dad spends all his time watching TV, he doesn’t understand social media and doesn’t have a smart phone. Independa is great because not only does it bring us closer despite the geographical distance between us, it bridges the gap between the generations because it uses the technology they are most comfortable with.

    USA Properties
  • We use the video chat feature in the resident’s TV to get the entire circle of care together at once; we will have the nurse and the physical therapist in the room with the resident, and we will then video call their family. That way everyone who is involved in their care gets the same message at the same time and can ask questions while we are present so there is no confusion. One time when we were working with a deaf resident, we were able to arrange for her daughter to sign via video chat and translate what we were saying and the questions her mother had; it made such a huge difference.

    Wellbridge at Brighton
  • My dad was on the Honor Flight to DC today. An amazing trip for a veteran. I was able to meet him at the Korean War Memorial. He is a Korean War veteran. I was able to send pictures of the entire experience to my mom at home throughout the day. Mom was thrilled, and when my dad gets home he has all the pictures from his trip on his TV and can even play a slideshow. Amazing!!! Thank you!

    Kendal At Home
  • Video chat on the TV is great! I was using FaceTime on my iPad to see the grandkids and I thought that was the greatest thing, but seeing them all on the big TV is truly incredible, it’s like they are in the room with me. I love it!

    USA Properties
  • When Lillian broke her hip a week before her Grandson’s wedding, she and the family were broken hearted because they thought she would have to miss this very special day. Thankfully, she had chosen Wellbridge of Brighton for her short-term rehab. “I’m going to my Grandson’s wedding” she proudly told the staff as she received the video call through her TV and was instantly ‘seated’ in the front row for the ceremony!

    Wellbridge of Brighton
  • I travel a lot for work. I used to worry myself sick about not being able to be there if Mom needed me. She says the smartphone I got her is too small, too complicated, and hard to see, but she loves using Independa. Now she can see all her shows and we can video chat so I can make sure she’s taking her medicine. It’s such a relief to check in anytime and know she’s OK.

    Laura P.