Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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tech-enabled home care

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tech-enabled home care

It’s time for cameras – nursing homes, assisted living, and home care

Where the baby (or elderly family member) may be.  The WSJ investigation of Care.com has only added a level of urgency about the risky business of finding and placing caregivers in homes. Consider the Care.com CEO’s egregious assertion that "Care.com is a marketplace platform, like Indeed or LinkedIn."  Really, finding someone to watch your baby or your aging father is analogous to finding a worker to fill a job opening in your IT department or seeking a manager to fill out your org chart? And having nasty problems with convicted criminals taking on caregiving roles, with deaths occurring in multiple states, but never aggregated into a nationwide picture of a horror show, until research into incidents was done by a Stanford MBA student? Read that link, please.

Whatever Happened to Tech-Enabled Home Care?

So much VC money, so little resulting change. Past venture capital investment in home care boggles the mind. It seems only yesterday that Tech-Enabled Home Care was published – including that wonderful Forbes graphic "Why VCs Care More About Home Care."  The Forbes article noted the $200 million invested just in 2016 -- with big money that year putting $60M into ClearCare, $46 million into Care.com and $42 million into Honor as next in line.  The VCs cared, all right – if that money was an indicator. But were they smart? Did they change the dynamics of the home care industry? With smaller investment that year, it's good to see that Envoy (concierge service for independent living), Kindly Care (home care agency), Caremerge (home care platform), and Seniorlink (care coordination) are in their same businesses from 2016 – and others from the period like Envoy and CareLinx received additional investment and moved forward. What happened to other Forbes rock stars?  

With Fewer Family Caregivers, What’s the (Tech-Enabled) Plan?

You saw the headline – America is running out of family caregivers.  The numbers are daunting.  Says Ken Dychwald in the WSJ article:  “We’re going to have to look to nontraditional care,” says Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave, a consulting firm.  "Older adults, he says, may have to take in boarders, who can help with shopping and repairs, or rely more on monitoring devices and delivery services.”  This latest article was based on a recent study (part of a series) from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave.  But is the issue low growth in potential family caregivers?  Or is the real issue the low growth of population in the appropriate age range (45-64) of people to provide care to people who are aged 80+?

Four technology categories to remotely monitor a paid caregiver

The boom in home care has side effects -- turnover and risk. We want to trust home care workers with aging parents.  After all, most cannot afford private pay assisted living – which can exceed $3000/month in most locations – and assisted living occupancy is projected to be flat -- likely because people see the cost and defer move-in. Given expanding life expectancies at age 65 – an average of 20 more years for men and more for women, the possibility of ‘aging in place’ in a private home may be growing.  As a result, the demand for private home care will grow, but so will the costs – especially for finding workers willing to do this difficult work for low pay. As of 2017, median home care turnover was 66.7% (compared to 30% for CNAs in assisted living).  With so many workers coming and going, especially for care recipients with the most taxing care requirements, what technologies may assist families and agency management for monitoring care?

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