It’s interesting to image the changes this New Year will bring to the home health care industry. With technological advancements, shifting demographics and new laws, there is more reason than ever to believe that we will see some significant changes made to home health care in the next 12 months.
What do we expect these new trends to be and how will they impact our aging population? Let’s take a closer look at the top four emerging home health care we trends we predict for 2018!
Rise of For-Profit Social Workers – In 2018 and beyond, we predict that the market for for-profit social workers, also called Geriatric Care Managers, will be bursting with new demand. These professionals provide assistance to seniors and their family member as they work through the healthcare system. Unlike government social workers, Geriatric Care Managers are a private industry. While they charge a fee for their engagement, their concierge-style services are far beyond what one might expect from a tradition social worker. Anything from accompanying seniors to doctor appointments, to helping place them in appropriate care facilities, Geriatric Care Managers offer expertise and peace of mind that many families will gladly pay to have.
As the complexity of the current healthcare system only stands to increase, the value of using a Geriatric Care Manager to help navigate the often confusing and time-consuming landscape of healthcare will also increase. We expect many more adult children to employ a Geriatric Care Manager, in some form, to help lessen the burden of caring for their aging parent.
Electronic Alert Devices – Thanks to advancements in technology, our senior population is no longer limited to the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” push devices. Now, many devices are GPS enabled making them more reliable and easier to access in case of emergency. Caregivers and family members have a greater peace of mind knowing their loved one can be located and helped no matter where they are, even outside the home and even if they cannot speak. We anticipate electronic alert devices to become even more sophisticated and intelligent in 2018, ultimately making it safer for seniors to stay in their home longer.
Real-Time Monitoring – It’s surprising this trend hasn’t caught on years ago, considering how much we rely on the same technology to help us monitor babies and children. However, the trend of real-time monitoring of seniors is heating up and will certainly gain popularity in 2018. Think of it like baby monitors, but for adults. Granny cams, motion detectors and real-time monitors are being revamped for senior in-home care. Now, Mom or Dad can be checked on without a caregiver or family member needing to stepping foot in the house. While this doesn’t replace the need for some form of in-home care from time to time, it does provide the instant peace of mind knowing you can check in on a loved one whether you’re at work or across the country.
Increase Need for Elder Law – With the aging population expected to double in the coming years, there will be a growing demand for attorneys specializing in elder law. Families with aging loved ones will need legal advice on how to navigate the complex and changing laws related to wills, trusts, inheritance and much more, so that they can plan for the most favorable outcomes for everyone involved.
The overarching theme of all of these trends is that families want trusted resources and peace of mind when it comes to caring for an aging loved one. New industries, specializations and technologies aim to deliver exactly that in 2018 and beyond!
What 2018 home health care trend do you find most interesting or impactful? Share your thoughts and questions by leaving a comment below!