GrandCare Blog

VIDEO: Implementing Remote Monitoring Technology

VIDEO: Implementing Remote Monitoring Technology

From funding options to training your staff, our latest webinar explained how to successfully implement remote monitoring technology (from start to finish) in your smart homes for people with disabilities and senior communities.

Shane Ferguson of Carolina Residential Services, a leader in disability support services, and Nora Baratto of Everhome Columbia, advocate and case manager for older adults joined us on this webinar to share their invaluable advice and experience.

What we covered in the webinar:

  • Personnel, including a project manager and participating support staff
  • Identifying and evaluating the home and installation environment
  • Determining who is a good candidate for remote monitoring and support
  • Assessing individual needs and mapping them to technology
  • Staffing the gaps
  • Training (supported person, natural supports, DSPs)
  • Staffing ratios and how to staff remote support
  • Setting up an on-call visit team for when in-person support is needed

If you were unable to attend this webinar, the recording is available on YouTube. If you have questions about GrandCare, reach out to us.

Want to be notified of our next free webinar? Join our mailing list.

 

WATCH How to successfully implement remote monitoring technology:

How to Address Staffing Shortages with Remote Monitoring Technology

How to Address Staffing Shortages with Remote Monitoring Technology

Disability and aging service providers are facing an increased need for care while also dealing with record staff shortages. These organizations are turning to technology solutions like GrandCare to continue serving clients in need without having to onboard more staff.

New Technology Features for Remote Monitoring and Support

With over 16 years of building and developing, GrandCare is the most comprehensive and robust technology designed to make remote caregiving more seamless, proactive and affordable. Most recently, GrandCare has built out specific features to serve the disability services market, in addition to the aging and post-acute marketplaces they already serve.

GrandCare now offers community GC touchscreens in addition to the individualized touchscreens in private rooms. These community screens go in public areas of the residence and can offer public messaging and one touch video call options to remote support providers. They also mirror resident touchscreens and discreetly remind residents if a task is due (such as medication or another to-do reminder).

Supported individuals can choose how to receive reminders at home or on the go by text message, colored light prompts or on their personal GrandCare touchscreens.

“GrandCare has created a product to directly support professional care organizations, while improving the health and happiness of the individual,” says GrandCare CEO, Laura Mitchell. “Now that we have seen proven success and reduction in cost and hands-on hours, we make it our mission to directly support each of our clients to ensure long term success and savings.”

To support multiple remote care staff and ensure accountability, GrandCare has created a more robust ‘Managed Alerts’ option for claiming alerts and documenting the resolution.

“The GrandCare Managed Alerts help our staff prioritize the most critical needs for the people they serve. For one person, certain sensor activity is expected, but for someone else it could show a support need. The managed alerts make that distinction.” – Hannah E., LADD

Funding and Implementation of Remote Monitoring Technology

While many organizations are on board with the new technology, some questions remain on funding, the new remote staffing model and how to successfully implement. GrandCare can help address all of these questions in an upcoming implementation-focused webinar for aging and disability service providers.

We will be hosting this free webinar Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, from 3-4pm ET in response to the demand for assistive technology for disability smart homes and senior communities. Plus, attendees who join will receive a special limited time discount code for 5 free GrandCare Systems (terms apply).

Remote Monitoring and Remote Support Webinar

The Remote Monitoring & Remote Support Roadmap webinar will cover:

  • Personnel, including a project manager and participating support staff
  • Identifying and evaluating the home and installation environment
  • Determining who is a good candidate for remote monitoring and support
  • Assessing individual needs and mapping them to technology
  • Staffing the gaps
  • Training (supported person, natural supports, DSPs)
  • Staffing ratios and how to staff remote support
  • Setting up an on-call visit team for when in-person support is needed

Register online: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN___F2FVT8S1q9CxZoOytT5w

How to Best Implement Assistive Technology for Disability Smart Homes

How to Best Implement Assistive Technology for Disability Smart Homes

About three years ago, GrandCare was approached by a Cincinnati-based disability support provider called LADD. They told us they wanted to completely reinvent their service delivery model using technology, and they asked us if we would help them do it. We said yes.

We worked with LADD and some of the people they support to develop new features and functionality specifically designed for the intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) population in community supported living settings. Then, about two years ago, four men moved into a brand new smart home–a home that had a GrandCare touchscreen in every room. These young men had never lived without supervision before, and weren’t sure they could.

That was two years ago, and the guys who moved into that house are still there today, living independently and loving it. They, and the smart home they live in, constitute an incredible success story.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Researchers at Xavier University followed the project from the beginning and have now published their incredible findings. The highlights include:

  • LADD was able to safely reduce in-person support hours by 75%
  • This cut the total cost of support in half
  • The technology in the smart home paid for itself in under 9 months

Is your organization interested in replicating these results? You’re going to want to talk to the people who did it first: GrandCare and LADD. That is why we are co-hosting a free webinar on August 17th, 2022. Representatives from both organizations will be discussing everything we’ve learned along the way, and also the findings of the Xavier study.

Register now for this free, one-of-a-kind webinar.

Assistive Technology ROI for Disability Providers

Assistive Technology ROI for Disability Providers

Free Zoom Webinar
August 17, 1:00pm ET (12:00pm CT)
Register at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NrUHRoeARTuNDm2NpvRi2w

About GrandCare

GrandCare is a large touchscreen that can improve the lives of developmentally disabled individuals, as well as the disability support providers they depend on. GrandCare provides cognitive assists, remote activity monitoring and virtual visits that helps people with disabilities stay safe, social and independent. Learn more about GrandCare’s assistive technology for disabilities at our site.

Xavier University Releases Study on Technology for Disabilities

Xavier University Releases Study on Technology for Disabilities

GrandCare Technology for Disabilities – A New Study from Xavier University

GrandCare Technology for Disabilities Leads to Increased Independence, 50% Reduction in Costs.

You may already know that back in 2019 GrandCare partnered with Cincinnati-based disability support provider, LADD, Inc., in their Smart Living project. What you may not know is that there was a third partner: researchers at Xavier University’s department of occupational therapy. They carefully followed the progress of the project and now, two years later, they have published their findings. Among them are:

  • LADD was able to safely reduce in-person support hours by 75%
  • This cut the total cost of support for the residents in half
  • The residents experienced better outcomes: greater success in doing their ADLs independently, and reporting greater satisfaction
  • All of the technology in the home was paid for within 9 months

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here are the qualitative and quantitative papers they produced. We think you’ll agree that this project is a stunning success and a model that will soon spread across the country and around the world.

Download Qualitative Paper >
Download Quantitative Paper >

Is your organization interested in implementing assistive technology and remote monitoring for people with diabilities? Contact us.

Technology-Infused Home Care: Using Remote Caregiving Supports, Monitoring & Virtual Visits to Supplement At-Home Care

Technology-Infused Home Care: Using Remote Caregiving Supports, Monitoring & Virtual Visits to Supplement At-Home Care

ATTENTION aging and disability service home care providers!

Are you struggling with staff retention? Would you like to serve more clients without increasing staffing? Do you want to improve transparency and prove your credibility and accountability to future clients?

Are you looking to supplement in-home caregiving hours with remote caregiving staff to provide a customized, cost-effective and client empowering solution, without sacrificing quality?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you won’t want to miss our upcoming free online forum sponsored by GrandCare Systems and EverHome Care Advisors.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 14. 10 am-11a PT (1-2pm ET)
REGISTER NOW: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_9lUbZZX5QjGZWMFqr5ZwuQ
You’ll receive your zoom attendee link upon registration.

Learning Objectives:

  • What aging/disability service providers can expect from government legislation and reimbursements
  • Which tech solutions are best for you
  • Best practices for successful technology implementation & workflow integration
  • Staff training
  • How to improve client outcomes, coordinate family & combat the staffing crisis

About the Technology-Infused Home Care Webinar

Your organization can turn the age-old “man on man” caregiving into smarter zone caregiving using a strategic combination of touchscreen-based cognitive assists, activity and health monitoring sensors and HIPAA virtual video visits to empower resident independence, improve quality of care and save money, despite staff shortages.

SPEAKERS:

GrandCare CEO & Industry thought leader, Laura Mitchell
GrandCare Founder & Visionary, Charlie Hillman
EverHome Care CEO, Elder Law Atty, Louis Pierro, ESQ

The webinar will be held Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at 12:00pm CT (1:00pm ET/10:00am PT) through Zoom. All are welcome. Space is limited. Register now.

More About GrandCare Systems
GrandCare is the world’s most advanced remote monitoring, communications, and engagement platform. The touch-based platform is used by seniors, people with disabilities, and people managing chronic health conditions.

More About EverHome Care
EverHome Care Advisors, LLC is an independent care management company that provides older and disabled adults with comprehensive in-home assessments, care planning and guidance in accessing a variety of programs and services that will assist people in remaining independent in their own homes.

Was blind but now I see: Telehealth and RPM in post-acute situations

Was blind but now I see: Telehealth and RPM in post-acute situations

A Chat with Charlie Hillman, founder and chairman of the board for RPM, Social Engagement and Telehealth industry pioneer, GrandCare Systems. Hillman is a professional engineer and MIT Alumnus.

Productivity.Charlie HIllman

Whether it is bushels of corn per acre, cars off the assembly line per hour, or hospital bed occupancy, it is the relentless drive toward greater productivity that saves companies, saves industries, and saves economies.

Economic studies have for centuries attempted to define the components of productivity. In days of yore, it was simple. Productivity was just labor and land, as seen in the top left of my slide – just a man and his mule.

Then came the industrial revolution and a new component was added: capital – meaning machines and buildings. The target was, of course, to increase production by introducing machines that could replace the other components, in particular, labor.

The largest gains in productivity were still in the agricultural field as evidenced by the fact that in 1880, it took almost 90% of the US population to produce 100% of the food needed. A hundred years later, less than 10% of the population could produce more than we needed – a tremendous increase in productivity. Manufacturing also underwent a dramatic increase in productivity. We went from manual methods to increasingly automated factories. As expected, the number of people needed for manufacturing has declined while output rises. The production equation had changed again.

Then came the information age. In a relatively short period of human history, information has become a significant factor in the productivity equation.

Let’s go back to agriculture. With satellite photos, a GPS system, and intelligent spreader, a farmer can now apply just the right amount of fertilizer or pesticide on different parts of his field, thus increasing yield and decreasing capital costs.

In manufacturing, the information of new materials, part structure, and our computer aided abilities to accurately perform structural analyses lead to reduced product weight while maintaining strength. The result: information replaces capital and makes possible a trip to the moon.

Now let’s talk healthcare. Some might calculate productivity in terms of patient days, but most consider the simple notion that productivity in healthcare is about saving and then improving lives. Just imagine how information has revolutionized healthcare in just the past few decades. Between sophisticated blood tests, genetic analyses, MRI’s, CAT scans, and Hillrom beds, the modern doctor has access to information that would have been unimaginable just 50 years ago.

Then the patient heads out of the hospital to home, and the attending doctor goes from omniscient to essentially blind. He/She has been cut off from information about the patient and it is not surprising that productivity drops. And, it’s not just the healthcare professional. The patient is also cut off from the information and advice on how he or she might behave to speed recovery and prevent reoccurrence.

And that is why we’re here today.

With GrandCare, healthcare professionals have information even when the patient is outside the clinical setting through its telehealth, instructionals, medication management and telemedicine features. At the same time GrandCare avoids information overload, letting doctors specify the exact conditions and red flag events and who should be notified.

Not only does GrandCare keep health professionals in the know about their patients at home, it also keeps the patients themselves well informed. Discharge instructions can be placed on the GrandCare touchscreen in the form of instructions, check lists, meal plans, exercises or even videos that can be watched on demand at any time. Reminders to engage in appropriate levels of exercise can also be employed. And medication reminders increase adherence, even for those facing cognitive challenges that lead to forgetting. 

If you would like to know more about how GrandCare links health professionals to their patients at home, drop us a line. We’d love to show you how GrandCare improves medical outcomes by keeping both professionals and patients well informed. 

 

Fight Loneliness With GrandCare Engagement Technology

Fight Loneliness With GrandCare Engagement Technology

Isolation is a serious issue, especially as people age. The kids move out, they retire from their careers. They may lose their spouse. They may find themselves living alone with a limited social network. Throw a pandemic on top of that and you have a lot of very isolated and lonely seniors living at home. This kind of isolation is not only unpleasant, it can lead to declining overall health. 

A recent NASEM report found that 25% of the 65+ population feel lonely. The pandemic has only exacerbated these numbers.  According to the CDC, social isolation contributed to a 50% increase in dementia.

Fortunately, GrandCare can help.

Maybe they don’t go out as much as they used to, and have fewer house guests. But that doesn’t mean they are left with just the telephone and TV as their only sources of engagement. GrandCare offers several features for remote family connection, games, local radio and even old time radio programs. Families can add photos, videos and messages right to their touchscreen. They can also send messages and exchange letters. They can even do video calls to the GrandCare touchscreen right from their computers or smartphones, no matter where they are. A recent 12 month pilot with a medicare advantage payer showed an improvement in physical, mental and overall health amongst GrandCare users from month one to month 12. What’s more, GrandCare can help individuals manage their own chronic health conditions.

In much the same way that their adult children might use Facebook, Zoom and other services to keep in touch with family, GrandCare delivers very similar functionality but with two great benefits. First, unlike those other solutions, the GrandCare user doesn’t have to learn how to do anything. There are no usernames or passwords or addresses to remember. It’s even easier than a telephone: you just touch the name and photograph of the person you want to talk to and that’s it. The second great benefit of using GrandCare is that it removes all of the risk that online life normally brings. With GrandCare you never receive spam emails, you can never receive a call from someone you do not know, and malware isn’t even a thing in the GrandCare world. 

Do you know a senior living at home alone? GrandCare is a great way for them to stay connected, even during a pandemic.

9 Tips for Helping Seniors Use Technology

9 Tips for Helping Seniors Use Technology

Seniors are just like everyone else in that their technology experience can vary widely. Some may run in terror from an iPhone while others (like Lili Hayes) may have millions of TikTok followers. Regardless, just like everyone else, seniors have much to gain from using the many wonderful technologies available these days. And if they need a little help getting started, here are some tips to help you help them.

1. Know the tech experience of the person you are dealing with. Start by knowing your audience. The easiest way to do this is just to ask them what their technology experience level is. This will help you avoid two problems. First, you might wrongly assume that they have knowledge they do not in fact have. On the other hand, you may insult a tech-savvy senior by dumbing things down.

2. For those with very little technical experience, it’s important to sell them on the benefits of technology use. For example, they may be better able to keep in contact with their family and friends. They may better stave off boredom with engaging online content like video games or crossword puzzles. Bottom line is, they need to know what’s in it for them.

3. Find technologies that are created specifically with their needs in mind. The best ones will have all the benefits of technology use, like keeping in touch with loved ones, while having none of the risks. Technology products that avoid usernames, passwords, addresses and so on are inherently easier to use. And some of them even sidestep problems like phishing scams and malware altogether. 

4. Be mindful of any vision, hearing, dexterity or even cognitive limitations. Let’s face it, as we get older our faculties may decline. This will vary from person to person, but it’s something to be aware of. Folks with these issues may not be able to use standard computer interfaces that other people take for granted. It is important to select technologies that fit the person. Screens should be large as opposed to small. Icons should plainly indicate their functions. Features should be easily discoverable rather than relying on a memorized series of steps to use them. Want to place a video call? Touching an icon labeled “Video Calls” and then touching the name and photograph of the person they want to call would make it simple. Consider when you used to have to use a program with an arbitrary name like Skype, launch it, log in with a username and password, then remember and type in the address of the person you wished to call. Nobody should have to do that any more.

5. Personalize it! If you’re introducing technology into a senior’s life, first customize it just for them. It is customary for a technology user to do this themselves, but if you have a tech-averse individual in mind, you might want to do it for them, so that their first experience with a new device isn’t a frustrating one. Program in the names and photos of the people they will want to video call, for example. Use photos of their grandchildren for their screensaver and background. Technology will be much more welcome in a senior’s home if it has the faces of their loved ones on it.

6. Select technologies that are well-supported and have great customer service. iPhones are nice smartphones, but even though you can go into an Apple store to get help, there isn’t an easy customer service line to call and get information and tips. Choose a technology that has onshore support and a call center with real people. Getting problems resolved and questions answered quickly will ease the adoption of new technology. 

7. Sometimes seniors are afraid of “messing things up.” Use technology with guard rails when dealing with seniors who aren’t so tech savvy. When introducing these kinds of products, let them know there’s nothing they are going to break. This will encourage them to discover and try new things with their new technology. 

8. Hide unwanted features and functionality. A laptop can do nine million things. But if your tech-averse senior only plans to do three things, put those things front-and-center and remove the rest from view. 

9. Do it together. Don’t just tell a senior what they can do with their new technology, try it out with them. Show them how to listen to the radio, play solitaire or send a message to a family member. Even if you’re just making a video call from down the hall, it’s a lot easier for people to do things on their own after they’ve tried it out with your help. 

10. Bonus tip. If you don’t know how to find senior-friendly technology products, start with GrandCare. GrandCare was specifically designed for the aging population (with another platform designed for individuals with I/DD.) GrandCare makes photo sharing, messaging, video calls, calendar reminders and To Do checklists, news and entertainment more accessible for people with any level of technology experience. It also removes all of the risks of being online.

If you want to know more about GrandCare, chat with us live on our website or contact our call center:  (262) 338-6147 sales@grandcare.com.

The Flipping of the Pyramid: Honor acquires Home Instead

The Flipping of the Pyramid: Honor acquires Home Instead

On August 6, 2021 homecare technology company, Honor, announced it had acquired one of the largest non-medical homecare providers, Home Instead.

Upon learning about this surprising acquisition, my first thought was of the old idiom of the tail wagging the dog. Home Instead is a billion-dollar company with more than a thousand franchises while Honor, the Uber of private homecare, is still a bit of a high-tech startup, albeit a heavily funded one.

But as I thought about it more, it made perfect sense.

Home Instead was founded back when boomers were in their 30s and 40s. As part of the bottom of the population pyramid, there were plenty of boomers who could serve as caregivers, compared to the number of seniors to care for, so the business model of low-cost workers serving seniors at home made sense. 

Fast forward to 2021, when boomers are the seniors who will be requiring much care in the next decade, and the pyramid is flipped. The only answer to this is enabling technology. This is exactly the expertise that Honor brings to the table.

The challenge, of course, will be to convince the franchisees that a significant change in business process is the only way to meet the challenges of caring for boomers while maintaining a reasonable ROI.

I imagine that Honor will also expand the offerings of Home Instead to include medical care, such as legitimate medication management, telehealth and telemedicine. Why? Because seniors in the 65+ population are hospitalized at nearly three times the rate of those in the middle-age bracket of 45-64. And more than 85% suffer from one or more chronic conditions. Addressing daily activities plus healthcare is the only way to truly support our boomers and avoid bankrupting our next generations of children and grandchildren. 

If anyone has the vision and business acumen it’s Honor!

Godspeed Honor.

Written by Charlie Hillman, Founder & Chairman, GrandCare Systems

In 2005, Charlie founded GrandCare Systems alongside co-founders, Gaytha Traynor, Laura Mitchell and Nick Mitchell. For more information about GrandCare’s fully-featured telehealth, activity monitoring and social engagement technology, please visit: www.grandcare.com or contact GrandCare at sales@grandcare.com or 262-338-6147.

 

Medicare and Medicaid Introduce New Expansion of Coverage for Telehealth Services

Medicare and Medicaid Introduce New Expansion of Coverage for Telehealth Services

The use of telehealth for delivering healthcare services expanded in recent years, an innovation that owes much to the decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to cover selected telehealth services. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the expansion of telehealth services coverage helped providers reach mobility-challenged patients, who found it difficult to leave their homes to receive the healthcare services they needed. It also helped expand access, making it possible for patients to receive services from providers sometimes well outside of their geographic area.

In California, for example, the County of Lasson uses GrandCare’s HIPAA-compliant telehealth capabilities to provide therapy visits. And in Ohio, LADD, a Cincinnati-based non-profit, created a smart home for disabled men, which uses GrandCare and other ground breaking innovations in accessibility, lighting and sensory control. This home is built from the ground up to enable the residents to live safer, more independent and happier lives. According to said Brian Hart, Chief Strategy Officer at LADD, “We have been working on this for a long time and our partnership with GrandCare enables us to provide a safe, scalable and affordable service model.” Reimbursement through Medicaid for these services is possible, because Medicaid has expanded its definition of assistive technology to include support for remote supports, such as reminders and prompts for daily activities, and even video calls to receive remote support from caregivers. 

With the advent of the pandemic, the importance of telehealth became even more apparent, when it allowed patients to receive services safely, even as they sheltered at home. This was especially critical for our nation’s seniors, who were at the highest risk for the most severe forms of the disease. Those in congregate living were often under quarantine, and unable to safely leave their communities for needed care. The pandemic resulted in a dramatic increase in the use of remote telehealth services.

“Before the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), only 15,000 fee-for-service beneficiaries each week received a Medicare telemedicine service. Since the beginning of the PHE, CMS has added 144 telehealth services,” according to CMS. In the 7-month time period between mid-March and mid-October of 2020, over 24.5 million people received a Medicare-covered telehealth service. 

Telehealth has long been a priority. We started paying for short virtual visits in rural areas long before the pandemic struck. But the pandemic accentuated just how transformative it could be.” – Seema Verma, CMS Administrator

In recent months, Network Health, a Wisconsin-based insurance company, started a new program for its Medicare Advantage members in Wisconsin, using GrandCare in member homes to provide virtual visits with care managers and providers, and reduce loneliness and isolation. They will continue to roll out telehealth and medication management solutions to offer a better member experience.

This year’s Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule once again expands CMS coverage for telehealth services. Although one category of new covered services is designed to be temporary, remaining on the list through the end of the declared public health emergency, others are permanent additions to the list of covered services. It’s part of a strategy, according to CMS, to “create a healthcare system that results in better accessibility, quality, affordability, empowerment, and innovation.”

Telehealth has long been a priority,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We started paying for short virtual visits in rural areas long before the pandemic struck. But the pandemic accentuated just how transformative it could be.”

Among the many additional to this year’s schedule is a welcome broadening of the coverage for remote monitoring services. In addition, CMS has created new codes for coverage of online assessments, making it possible for qualified non-physician health care professionals to perform these services. “Medicare beneficiaries will now be able to receive dozens of new services via telehealth, and we’ll keep exploring ways to deliver Americans access to healthcare in the setting that they and their doctor decide makes sense for them,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

NEW! Xavier University research on GrandCare-powered smart home for people with disabilities.See their findings
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