A recent news article discussed the “severe lack” of consumer education regarding available senior care options, and how this has resulted in more seniors in nursing homes than are really necessary. “Many consumers – especially those who have never worked in the senior living industry – think the whole industry is nursing homes,” remarks Sean Kell, the CEO of A Place for Mom, the nation’s largest senior care referral service. “They use that generic ‘nursing home’ phrase to describe the entire industry.”
While those in the senior care industry realize a nursing home is a very specific type of property and that there are many care options available to seniors, many consumers don’t understand the difference between assisted living, independent living, and elder care facilities. There is also a significant lack of knowledge regarding in-home care, home care systems and home care software, such as provided by ClearCare.
According to recent data released from Northwestern Mutual’s Long-Term Care Awareness study, more than one in five respondents were “not sure at all” what long-term care options were available to them.
Widespread Lack of Knowledge Regarding Elder Care Choices
“There is a need for consumer education about our industry and the types of care that the great providers across our country provide,” Kell says, adding, “The whole industry needs to do a better job of educating consumers about the kind of care that’s out there.”
Without proper education, consumers are flooded with images of their parents stuck in nursing homes and imagine a similar life for themselves. Understanding what other options are available and how home care systems and home care software can help will allow people to make better, more informed decisions.
“I’m relatively young,” says Marie of southern Wisconsin, “but I think about what kind of future I’ll have when I’m older. I really don’t know where I’ll go, or who will care for me if I get sick. I’m afraid I’ll end up in a nursing home, which, honestly, makes me a little nervous.”
Others share Marie’s reservations about nursing home care. But without accurate information regarding home care, home care systems and other options, many individuals may end up in a care setting that isn’t appropriate for their circumstances.
A Time for Change
As the elder care industry continues to expand, more resources will become available for seniors and their families to learn about different care options. Understanding home care systems and home care software will help families feel comfortable with leaving their elderly loved ones in another’s care.
Reputable home care agencies that use ClearCare’s home care software can assure their clients that they will have 24/7 real-time visibility to their loved one’s point of care. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities simply cannot offer this level of transparency. The more agencies that advertise they are using home care systems, the more the public will begin to understand the kind of choices they have available for elder care.
If you have questions or concerns about your future – or that of a loved one – call a ClearCare representative today and ask how home care software can help.