As players in the home care industry, our ultimate goal is to help seniors age safely in the comfort of their homes. We work to achieve this goal in many ways by, for example, hiring and maintaining a consistent flow of quality caregivers, or by performing in-home assessments every two weeks to ensure that care recipient’s needs are being addressed.
However, researchers are now seeing that “relatively small changes in living spaces and daily strategies can keep [seniors] out of nursing facilities [and help them remain safely in their homes] for months or even years.”
The CAPABLE project (which stands for Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders) is just one of many programs in the United States that is actively finding ways to optimize a senior’s independence. Armed with a budget of $4,000, participants in the CAPABLE project are researching to find how far their allowance can go to “preserving people’s independence.”
One different component of the project is to not only find ways to improve the health of the senior as they age in place, but to also implement home improvement solutions that allow a senior to safely perform and accomplish their daily living activities. It is the novel idea that even “the little things, like being able to use kitchen utensils and navigate steps, [are what] end up limiting our ability to remain independent.”
As a home care provider, you may not be equipped with the tools or funds to implement home improvement projects around your clients’ homes. However, if you are using a home care software or home care system, you can still help seniors age safely in place.
- Perform assessments to track goals. The mobile capability of a comprehensive home care software or home care system allows you to perform assessments right in the client’s home. In doing so, all information is safely stored and accessible from any device with internet access so that you can always check, track, and edit your client’s goals for aging safely in place.
- Ensure that caregivers are aware of goals. To ensure that your client’s goals are being met, your home care software or home care system can communicate messages to remind your caregivers what needs to be done to help the client live safely and independently in their home. With a web-based home care system, these messages can be communicated to a caregiver prior to their shift via an online portal. With a home care system that is integrated with telephony, these messages are communicated to the caregiver once they clock-in to their shift. Ultimately, you can ensure that a home care software system will enlighten and include your caregivers into your clients’ care goals.
- Track caregiver commentary. Nothing is more important or valuable than your caregivers’ comments or descriptions of their visit with a client. With a home care software or home care system, all caregiver commentary is saved and stored directly in the system so that all information regarding a client visit is tracked and logged. With this tool, you can immediately review caregiver commentary as soon as they are completed to monitor your clients’ conditions. This immediate access to information is key to helping our seniors age in place.