Technology paves the way to tackling the senior care crisis

According to the U.S. Department of Health Human Services and the Administration for Community Living, the elderly population in the United States is expected to more than double from 39 million to 72 million by 2030. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing also predicts that there will be a serious nursing shortfall in the next few years as there will not be enough to meet these increasing demands. These issues along with the rising costs of long-term care leads many seniors and their families seeking alternatives to allow the elderly to remain independent and aging at home for as long as possible.

Prairie Business Magazine

This is where home care providers and technology can bridge this widening gap. A recent article by Kris Bevill in the July Issue of the Prairie Business Magazine, in Grand Forks, ND talks about these issues that are becoming a big concern for the northern Plains where much of the population is in the 65 years plus range.

This new and growing demand, combined with a region-wide health care worker shortage, means the fairly young home health care industry is often racing to keep up with patient loads and regulations, but providers say they are confident they will continue to meet demand, thanks in part to new methods of care delivery. – See more at: http://www.prairiebizmag.com/event/article/id/24157/#sthash.akar3ksu.dpuf

In the article, Patti Cullen, president and CEO of Care Providers of Minnesota talks about how “congregate settings allow fewer workers to care for more patients. She also points to technology as a great potential aid in allowing seniors to remain in their home with limited personnel visits.”

Anne Major, president of Fargo-based Ethos Home Care agrees that technology can aid the industry by confronting staffing challenges while providing top-notch care to patients.

Major points out that Ethos has been advertising for a licensed practical nurse and another RN “for quite a while,” but finding staff is an ongoing problem. “The hospitals are feeling it, the care centers are feeling it, and home care is feeling it as well,” Major says.

She adds, “incorporating technology into home care not just for the staffing benefits, but for the additional well-being that remote monitoring can provide for families. Technology can be utilized in a variety of ways for senior care. Medication dispensers can send an alarm to caregivers if medicine is not dispensed at the correct time, motion sensors can automatically trigger lights to turn when a person enters a room or steps on the floor as they get out of bed. Major offers another example she’s seen firsthand, where a child was concerned about his parent leaving home and becoming disoriented, so a sensor was enabled to alert the child whenever the parent’s garage door opens or closes.” – See more at: http://www.prairiebizmag.com/event/article/id/24157/#sthash.akar3ksu.dpuf

Knute Nelson, based in Alexandria, MN utilizes the GrandCare Systems technology to meet their care giving needs by providing a touch screen in the patient’s home.

The grandCARE product is a complete care system that combines telehealth, activity monitoring, digital health management, medication reminders, remote patient monitoring and entertainment/social engagement features into a single, easy-to-use touchscreen designed to keep seniors aging in place.

Technology like grandCARE can actually be more affordable than you think. For home care, senior living and other healthcare organizations, grandCARE offers special enterprise solution programs that can make implementation of this type of technology a reality. Jerry Furness, Chief Operating Officer at grandCARE systems says, “we believe in the benefits of our system and want to provide organizations an opportunity to reap the benefits which is why we have these special enterprise programs in place. Our goal is to make implementation happen in a meaningful way by partially or fully eliminating the up front cost hurdles for these groups.”

Caregiver showing grandCARE user new task list feature.

Caregiver showing grandCARE user new task list feature.

System Comp HR

The article concludes: Andrea Jung, president of Elk River, Minnesota-based Guardian Angels Elimm Healthcare and Hospice added, “I’m really excited about the potential there is for home care….I think technology is going to be a big impact and change the way we deliver care and how many people we’re reaching. There are so many things going on in this industry that I’m really excited about.”

About grandCARE:

GrandCare Systems LLC, founded in 2005, offers the most comprehensive and holistic professional care giving and health coordination tool on the market.  grandCARE is a large touch platform which provides health instructions, secure video chat, wireless vital recordings and analytics, medication compliance, activity sensing, and family communications into one intuitive and expandable platform.  grandCARE focuses on true individual centered care, enabling better experience, better engagement, and better outcomes. For more information, visit: www.grandcare.com or call 262-338-6147.

 Media Contact:

Amy Schwengels       262.338.6147   media@grandCARE.com

GrandCare Systems debuts new website

You may recall that late in 2014, we announced our new brand logo, identity, and new color schematics as GrandCare Systems looked to modernize and give our brand an updated and refreshed look. Expanding on what we started, we are aligning our new brand identity to our completely redefined sales and marketing strategy in the hopes to better target our product solutions to the various customer markets we serve on our newly redesigned website: www.grandCARE.com.

Introducing: Our all new grandCARE program solution strategy featuring Professional Care, Community Based Care, and Family Centered Care programs. While our product and its capabilities haven’t really changed, what is different is the way we are presenting it to each of the individuals and organizations our product is designed to benefit.

“When I first came on board, I started to evaluate our website immediately, because it is the most highly visible sales and marketing tool we have. In most cases, our website presents the first impression we make to our customers. My goal when redesigning the site was to take the new branding and color schemes and build on those ideas by developing very distinct program solution paths for visitors to take based on their specific personal or business needs,” said GrandCare Systems Marketing Analyst, Amy Schwengels.

Who We Help_pg 1Selection Guide
Along with an all new look and feel to the site, the new website includes two new sections to help users decide which program solution is best for them: Who We Help and Selection Guide.

“We wanted to create a more straight-forward approach to how we engage visitors on our website. We feel that by creating the color-coded program solution paths along with useful selection guide tools, we are able to better communicate with our customers and make sure that they are able to find more meaningful content on our site,” added Dan Maynard, GrandCare Systems CEO.

Additional information, questions, or comments regarding the new website can be directed to Amy Schwengels, Marketing Analyst at 262.338.6147, or please visit www.grandCARE.com and drop us a line on our Contact Us page. A media kit and other marketing materials are available on our website.

How one man’s journey with dementia will change lives.

Sandy Halperin

Sandy Halperin

While recently speaking at the National Alzheimer’s Project Act Advisory Council meeting in Washington, D.C., Dr. Alexander “Sandy” Halperin, DDS talked about his life as a dementia patient. The outspoken advocate for the Alzheimer’s Disease Care and Cure cause, openly shared his daily struggles with the symptoms of the disease and its progression since being diagnosed in 2010. During his impassioned speech, Sandy talks about how he often requires the assistance of what he refers to as his “second brains.” Said brains taking the form of note pads, books and documents Sandy has authored over the years, his family memories scrapbook, the grandCARE system technology tool, and his loving wife of over 40 years, Gail.

What struck me most about Sandy’s speech is that save for a few brief moments of a lost train of thought, I wouldn’t have even thought he was a man struggling with the effects of such a disease given his poise and passion for speaking. Having experienced this first-hand, as my own grandmother suffers from late stage dementia, her outward appearance, cognitive, and physical capabilities are marked and noticeably different. She rarely speaks, remains largely confined to her bed in the nursing home where she resides, and her cognitive capabilities are virtually non-existent, as she no longer remembers me as her granddaughter or other close family members whom she has known for years. She is older, at 79 years of age, but her disease progression moved swiftly after receiving her initial diagnosis only a few short years ago. Unfortunately, by that time, she was already too far gone, to the point of requiring extensive care. 

The early warning signs were there, the simple daily forgetfulness of “where did I leave my purse?”. To the re-telling of a story we’ve heard for the umpteenth time. In retrospect, red flags should have been going up, starting probably 10 to 15 years ago. As with anyone, getting older often comes with its fair share of “senior moments”, at some point however, those innocent “senior moments” become something more.

Despite Sandy’s open acknowledgement and awareness that one day, he too may find himself in such a condition as my grandmother, his spirit, courage, and fight to be a vibrant and public voice of awareness for the disease is certainly inspiring. His voice is getting heard and his message on alzheimer’s is loud and clear, “care and cure”. CNN is currently following Sandy, filming a multi-chapter documentary on his personal journey, in a piece appropriately titled, “Sandy’s Story.” The world renowned, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, will also be following Sandy Halperin’s story on “Sanjay Gupta, M.D.

Sandy's Story CNN

A brief excerpt of chapter one of “Sandy’s Story”, by Stephanie Smith, CNN:

“It is a horrifying, gripping, devastating disease that plays havoc on the family and on the patient,” says Gail Halperin, Sandy’s wife.

But, she says, what has softened the blow of Halperin’s diagnosis is the way he responded to it — at least after the initial stunned feeling subsided.

“He immediately came out and said, ‘I don’t want to cover this up. I want to share it with people and be proactive,'” his wife says.

Recent data suggest that such a response is rare: Nearly 13% of Americans reported experiencing worsening confusion or memory loss after age 60, but most — 81% — had not consulted with a health care provider about their cognitive issues, according to the March Alzheimer’s Association report.

One of the goals of the project is to achieve increased awareness, in the hopes that individuals and family member’s recognize the early warning signs sooner to increase the effectiveness of medical intervention, and even incorporate technology aids, like the grandCARE system, to help improve the patient’s quality of life and their ability to remain more independent.

National Alzheimers Project Act Logo

To learn more about this project, and how you may be able to help, please go to:
http://napa.alz.org/national-alzheimers-project-act-backgroun