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Home Care

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Home Care

Recently Announced Technologies for Aging in Place

It’s a few months before CES 2012 and a flurry of new product announcements will soon flutter out leading up to and including the Silvers Summit and Digital Health events in Las Vegas. Ahead of those to-be-determined announcements, other companies (and one core technology) have announced offerings worth noting that can help seniors and/or caregivers of seniors and deserve a heads-up to learn more via the links below. Information here is quoted from the press or vendor announcement:

Snapshot of Leading Age -- brick and mortar, limited tech

AAHSA/Leading Age -- change is incremental.  As it turns out, not a big deal, skipping a year of conferences in my quest to find innovation in the use of technology for the benefit of residents among the senior housing sector. I didn’t see too much new (exceptions below). The former American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA, now optimistically renamed Leading Age), is a 5400-member organization of senior executives from the faith-based and non-profit senior housing sector, spanning most of the nursing home/rehabilitation facilities in the US – typically campus-based CCRCs. This year is the 50th anniversary of AAHSA/Leading Age, and they celebrated by including international organizations from as far away as Australia.

Care at home – the continuum of oversight needs a reality check

 Okay, okay, we get it – everyone wants to age at home.  How do we know?  AARP say so. Forget that AARP’s survey sample might be skewed towards the younger end of fifty- and sixty-somethings, not 80-90 year olds. Forget that life expectancy is lengthening -- the good life or the not-so-good – apparently indistinguishable among the life expectancy extender-types, aka the healthcare system.  Forget that this is a gloomy and isolating picture for those with limited transportation in their 80’s and 90’s, those living alone with mild to moderate dementia, and those for whom it is a great chore just to get up and about. 

An industry thrives -- the worker, not so much


The sound of one hand clapping.  We're apparently headed into a wave of hiring of home care workers, according to a new Senior Helpers study. Yay, I guess, for the job 'opportunities' for 100,000 additional in-home senior care workers in 2011.  It's a good thing that the article offered up an observation by one franchise owner who "said many of the caregivers employed were middle-aged women who were in the job because they wanted to help, rather than for the money."  Yes, of course.  They can't be in it for the money. Note the Bureau of Labor Statistics about the fastest growing job occupations.  Note the only one with an annual average wage below $20K -- yup, that's the personal care worker, one of the few on the list with only 'on-the-job training'.  One in three have no health insurance, which for a single individual (healthy) under the age of 65 requires an average premium cost of nearly $3000.  And sure enough, the industry is lobbying to be exempt from requirements to insure their workers, also admitting that for those who are currently insured, that the coverage “is probably not up to what will be required.”

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