Smart technology for seniors? Yes, it does exist.

Better Care Logo - Square - Standard - TMProactive versus reactive care is something that unfortunately too often becomes a hindsight 20/20 revelation for some elderly patients and their families. “If only we had known…” they would say. The truth is technology these days is not just good, it’s really good.  Better than it was even just a few short years ago. The thing about technology is that it is always changing, evolving, and getting more sophisticated. That’s not to say that it is getting more complicated necessarily, in fact, in many cases the technology is actually getting easier to use. More hands free. Requiring even less for the user to do manually, with the advent of voice recognition, smart watches, and even artificially intelligent computers.

I mean, just a few years ago, it would have seemed unfathomable to think that you could talk into your phone, tablet, or computer to ask it a simple question and actually expect to get an intelligent response. Today, we can ask something as simple as “do I need an umbrella today?” and our technology device will actually give us a resonable answer related to our local weather report.

The same holds true for technology advancements in healthcare with virtual care services, and personal health/fitness monitoring devices. But did you know that there is even more advanced technology out there that is designed to help prevent hospitalizations, manage chronic conditions, and track daily activities, all to keep the elderly and disabled living independently for as long as possible in order to postpone the need for long-term care?

System Comp HR

Introducing the grandCARE system. We provide a technology solution that benefits seniors, family caregivers, and professional senior care workers alike. It starts with our innovative touchscreen interface which has been carefully designed with the end-user in mind. It features large, easy-to-read icons and can be fully customized to include as few or as many menu options as desired. The platform is so intuitive to use, that no previous computer experience is required to enjoy.
The touchscreen can be use as key source of socialization, entertainment, and communication for the senior user with our integrated family Facebook photo sharing, video chatting, games, websites, news, weather and more available options.

Next, our passive activity and motion monitoring is an effective and unintrusive way to analyze patterns of behavior to become more aware when something isn’t quite right. Our sensors can detect when there is too much, too little or no motion, and alert when something out of the ordinary occurs. The alert rules can be established to send out a message by phone call, text, or email to one or multiple designated parties.

Phone, PC and tablet with blank screen for copy space

grandCARE online care portal for families and professional caregivers

At grandCARE, we believe in not only helping seniors stay independent, but strive to enable them the ability to proactively manage their own health and wellness too. This is why we have available digital medical devices to take important health vital readings digitally using our innovative system. The data is captured on the system, and stored on our secure servers making the information accessible at anytime to a family member or professional care manager using our online based care portal. The information can be reviewed in report or chart format, and even exported as a PDF to send to a professional health care provider as well.

A recent article by Maryalene LaPonsie, featured in the U.S. News and World Report provides more support for the benefits that technology can have with seniors, families, and those in the long-term care industry.

For those who want to maximize their peace of mind, Gomez says the Cadillac of virtual long-term care is a remote-monitoring system like that offered by grandCARE.

With this system, activity sensors are placed in a senior’s home. To use grandCARE, Managed Senior Care first evaluates what a typical “good day” looks like for a senior and sets alerts accordingly. For example, if a senior typically has breakfast by 9 a.m. and the refrigerator hasn’t been opened by that time, an alert may go out to a caregiver.

As with Banner iCare, seniors using the grandCARE system are set up with a tablet. In this case, it’s an oversized tablet that can be remotely activated. If a caregiver needs to check on a senior, he or she can open Skype which will activate the camera and microphone on the tablet. At that point, the caregiver can look for the senior and call out to him or her to determine whether help is needed.

“One of the reasons we like this product is because it’s respectful of the senior,” Gomez says. “You know when people are watching. There is no secret monitoring.”

The article goes on to show how virtual care services are having an impact with both cost savings and patient outcomes:

“We save over $4,000 per patient per year and avoid hospital visits and readmissions,” Herzog says. From 2013 to 2014, Banner Health tracked the outcomes of newly enrolled Banner iCare members and compared that to claims data from the year before their enrollment. They found the program resulted in an overall 27 percent cost savings of $788 per patient per month. Hospitalizations also dropped from 11.5 per 100 patients per month in the year prior to enrollment to 6.3 per 100 patients per month six months after enrollment.

So, going back to where we started…”if only we had known.” Well, now you do.

Going above and beyond the traditional PERS

If you were around during the 80’s and 90’s, I’m sure you remember that clever catchphrase, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”, and the television commercials from a certain maker of a medical emergency response systems. Fast forward to 2015, and a lot has changed in the way of digital health technology. The advent of smartphones, tablets, watches, fitness wristbands, and other devices are changing our world and just how mobile we can be without losing our connection to everything digital.

Let’s face it, we live in a fast paced world and people crave their technology gadgets, addicted sometimes, and when said gadget goes down for any reason, say, your kid drops it in the toilet, or you leave it in the bathroom at the airport in your rush to make your connecting flight…your digital life is temporarily ‘over’.

But, if you are someone over the age of 65, life tends to slow down a bit. Trading in chasing around kids to soccer practice, and making the early morning client meeting for a more relaxed lifestyle tending to a flower garden at home, enjoying time volunteering for local community causes, or even just unwinding in a favorite recliner while reading a good book. However, this newfound freedom and independence often comes with its own share of dangers of the unknown.

today's caregiver

According to a recent article by Today’s Caregiver:

Studies report that 30% of people who are over the age of 65 (about 35 million Americans) fall every year, and that these incidences increase to 50% for those over the age of 80.

It’s been estimated that at least 60% of all falls occur in the home… people with neuromuscular or cognitive diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, ALS and even diabetes fall even more frequently.

Whatever the reasoning, the danger still exists for someone who has taken a fall, especially if they are elderly and alone. For those who are unable to get up from a fall, the amount of time they spend immobile will greatly affect the outcome of their health and rehabilitation. In other words, a fall that results in a serious injury may signify the beginning of declining health that may become an irreversible, downward spiral.

So, how can you ensure your loved one won’t become a tragic victim of this downward spiral from a fall that goes undected? You could opt for a personal emergency response system (PERS), such as the one from the tv advertisements, but those require your loved one to actually push a button. What if your loved one suffers a medical episode which hinders their ability to push this button? This is a gap of the traditional PERS solution, a gap that our technology can help fill.

Introducing the grandCARE system solution which incorporates a series of passive activity and motion sensing devices to better monitor patterns of behavior instead of requiring the user to push a button. If there is no motion, excessive motion, or activity patterns that do not fit the norm, an alert will go out regardless of the individual person’s ability to engage the push button. Download: Gaps of PERS System Flyer

Learn more about how passive activity and motion sensing devices can provide you added peace of mind by visiting our website www.grandCARE.com.

Better Care Logo - Square - Standard - TMSystem Comp HR

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

Note: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” is a registered trademark of LifeAlert.

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