26 Mar The Latest Insights for the Home Health Care Industry
Luis de la Prida, MBA – The NYBB Group
Trend: Home Health Firms Battle Loneliness with Tech Tools
It is common knowledge that right now the baby boomer generation is reaching the fifty plus age range, and that is affecting the market in many different ways. For the Home Health Care industry it means an influx of patients and therefore a need to meet the new, higher demand for care. According to the Quarter 4 Industry Update from First Research by Dun & Bradstreet and M&A Source, home health care companies can use up and coming technologies to improve their offerings, increase efficiencies and help to combat isolation in order to maintain standards of care and meet the new demand for care.
Companies such as Home Instead have been turning to technology to create the needed change. The franchise recently partnered with startup GrandPad to bring senior-friendly tablets into the homes of isolated home health care clients.
The Industry Update states, “about one in 11 Americans over age 50 (about 8 million people) lack close relatives, according to The Wall Street Journal.” When you acknowledge the fact that loneliness has been linked more closely to premature death in individuals in this age range than physical inactivity or obesity, these numbers are staggering. Considering that the percentage of American citizens over the age of 65 is expected to increase by approximately 49% between 2016 and 2030, something needed to change.
Additionally, the industry is currently struggling with the availability of workers to meet the current demand. A shortage in nurses is widespread, and with the low wages and high-demand workload, caregivers are an increasingly high turnover position.
The tablets combat loneliness by enabling seniors to video chat, send emails via voice commands, share photos and to access the “grandkids on demand” program. The program, co-created with the startup Papa, pairs college students with seniors via phone or online apps to provide companionship and general assistance like transportation.
The Bottom Line
With readily available access to human interaction despite the unfortunately lack of home health care workers the industry is seeing, these tablets provide a hopeful future for decreasing the number of depressed, ill seniors. Introducing the role of community members like college students to perform simple helpful tasks for seniors in need also helps to remove some of the demand on the shoulders of nurses and caregivers. Technology has changed the way many industries operate and the Home Health Care industry is no different. Any companies who are struggling with these issues would be wise to look into the option of utilizing technology to provide better care for their clients and a better work environment for their employees.
If you would like to discuss this article or schedule a private and complementary consultation, please contact Luis at Lou@nybbinc.com or 631-390-9650.