For care providers and aging seniors in the information age, the future is now. While still with some challenges, many different senior service providers are providing technology to enhance their customers’ lives.

Virtual care techniques have been in use for over a decade, and they are advancing rapidly. Several top providers of senior living use virtual care to enhance their residents’ quality of life. Seniors and staff providing care recognize the value that technology-enabled solutions offer. If you are an aging senior, you are likely to experience some form of virtual care in your lifetime.

Virtual care in the facility setting

Virtual care helps to reduce staffing costs and other staffing issues, such as absenteeism and turnover. Recruiting, paying, and retaining necessary staff for senior care is one of the most significant issues senior care facilities face. Virtual care can expand the reach of human caregivers, especially on weekends and holidays. A virtual monitor can alert a skeleton crew of human care providers in an emergency.  Those humans can then step in and decide the appropriate course of action.

Proper implementation and oversight of virtual care systems can avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. The 2018 Telehealth Industry Trends presentation cites research showing that “…after hours skilled nursing virtual care providers have successfully treated more than 80 percent of skilled nursing residents in place using virtual care technologies.” In addition to helping to avoid the expense of hospitalization, it also helps avoid the emotional trauma of hospital visits.

Virtual care at home

While valuable in senior living facilities, virtual care may be even more helpful to seniors who wish to “age in place.”. Older adults are increasingly interested in technological applications which help them remain independent and in their own home. In the event of an adverse health event, remote monitoring technologies can alert care providers or loved ones immediately.  For seniors who have chronic conditions, this type of monitoring can bring peace of mind. By using an integrated virtual system, the senior also plays an active role in their well being. Home monitoring “smart speaker” service solutions for seniors are being aggressively developed and marketed by nontraditional healthcare companies like Amazon and Google.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss care planning options for you or a loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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