McCortney Family In-Home Care News

Op-Ed: Raising the Bar for Elderly Care at Home

There was an interesting op-ed column in US News recently by the Director of Product Strategy, Social Program Management, at IBM.  Read the whole thing.

It discusses the aging of our population:

Consider that the oldest living person today – Misawo Okawa at 116 years old – was not expected to see her 45th birthday when she was born in 1898. While super-centenarians like Okawa are rare, people in the United States can expect to live an average of 78.7 years, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – good news to be sure, but it also presents new challenges in how we provide care to the elderly.

It also goes on to discuss the preference of the elderly population to have caregivers that can help them remain in their own home:

Increasingly, the elderly are opting to be cared for at home, preferring their own surroundings instead of outside environments. This is sparking a renewed debate on the merits and challenges of home care versus third-party care. Many believe home care is the optimal choice, as it can be tailored to individual circumstances such as family support, social connections, physical space and access to programs and services.

He then touches on, what I think will be a huge part of the in-home care conversation in the years to come, technology:

For the first time, technology is enabling team-based care coordination for aging populations in their homes. As organizations look for better ways to meet public needs, big data and advanced analytics have emerged as a way for care providers to drive better outcomes for their elderly patients. In tandem with improved information sharing among care providers and hospital-quality in-home monitoring systems, the elderly and their families can feel more secure in their home care decisions.

All of this adds up to a future where elder care can be provided in the situation they want (their home) and still provide the level of service the senior adults want and need.  The aging of the baby boomers will be a challenge for the healthcare system, but I believe teamwork between family home care companies, caregivers, and doctors all using shared technology will be the answer.  I look forward to seeing what technology can do to keep our parents safe and happy as they choose to “age in place”.