Technology, economy and government are three major forces that impact just about everything in their way, and that most certainly includes the home care industry. The changes that have been recently made to America’s healthcare system, and the many more ideas that have been discussed as potential future changes, have already begun to cause a ripple effect – both good and bad.
Let’s take a look at the new trends that are changing the home care industry in Central Pennsylvania and beyond.
Technology Enabling People to Live at Home Longer
There has been a boom in technology designed to help keep people living independently in their home for as long as possible. Apps like Go-Go Grandparent connect seniors with ride sharing services like Lyft and Uber. Additionally, technology now allows families to be connected through customer portals to see when a caregiver is scheduled, confirm their arrival and note when the caregiver leaves. At Ella Home Care, we provide this feature to all of our clients and have found the peace of mind it provides to be invaluable.
Advancement of Telemedicine
As seniors wish to remain in their homes longer, the need for telemedicine is critical. Especially when these people live in rural and remote areas that lack sufficient healthcare services, the advancement and access to telemedicine is increasingly important. Wearable devices, smartphones that function as diagnostic tools and digital therapy and advice that allow doctors to communicate with patients without needing to see them in an office are just a few of the many advances in telemedicine that have hit the market recently.
Collaboration Among Providers
Collaboration is another growing trend. Now more than ever, primary care providers, hospitals, skilled nursing and rehabilitation settings, as well as home health and private duty home care providers are working together to provide a fluid continuum of care. Keeping open communication between all of these entities helps to provide the best care possible for the patient. The shared end goal for this collaboration is to keep patients safely living in their home, while reducing the need for readmissions to the hospital.
Growing Demand for Qualified Caregivers
The home health industry as a whole is experiencing a growing demand for quality caregivers. The need is mostly due to the rise in the number of baby boomers who wish to remain in their homes as long as possible, thus requiring in-home care. All private-duty agencies, along with other healthcare providers, are fishing from the same pool of talent. Because of this, many private duty agencies are setting a minimum weekly commitment of hours from the consumer, or turning down services altogether because staff is not available. To help remedy the staff shortages, some agencies are now working together to share staff or share consumers, just so the consumer needs are met.
What trend in home care do you find most interesting? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!