Funding a Technology-Based Service Delivery Model: ID/DD Providers

As a provider interested in serving more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, you are now seriously considering a shift to a technology-based service delivery model. So, here’s the million-dollar question: how do you get funding for it?

Look into paying for it via a Medicaid waiver. One provider charged $1,000 a month per person living in a smart home powered by GrandCare technology, and was able to get 90% of the fee reimbursed through a waiver, with the rest supported through fundraising and grants. Of course, waivers might be different where you operate, so find out what your state provides. For instance, look for phrases like “assistive technology” on your state’s list of waivers from the Medicaid website. To get answers to all of your waiver questions, it can be very helpful to talk directly with someone from the state, e.g. the county board, or service and support administration.

There are times when a waiver is not currently available in a state, in which case a grant may be the way to go, at least initially. Your state might be offering grants for projects as innovative as what you’re thinking of doing, especially if benefits have been seen in other states. With this funding, you can run a small pilot that not only provides your organization with the evidence for the effectiveness of your technology-based service delivery model, but also paves the way for the state to develop a long-term waiver.

The lack of a waiver did not stop one provider from shifting to a technology-based service delivery model. With private pay, they ran a pilot that ultimately demonstrated that they can reduce in-person support hours while demonstrating better outcomes for their residents: greater success in doing their ADLs independently, and greater satisfaction. Now, their state’s director is eager to connect with other states’ directors to explain the benefit they’re seeing. This is because it can be eye-opening for a state agency to learn that under a technology-based service delivery model, staff are not being removed from a situation, but simply interacting in a different way; they can actually be there more often, via virtual means!

LADD, Inc., a Cincinnati-based disability support provider, was able to safely reduce in-person support hours by 75%, cutting the total cost of support for residents in half.

Your technology-based service delivery model can save the system hundreds of thousands of dollars while still providing you with the margin you need to provide your service. And yes, you’ll be able to provide service to more people, which is why we’re in this in the first place.

GrandCare remote support technology improves the lives of those with disabilities in the U.K.

The use of remote monitoring and remote support technology in residential settings grew exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic. But what started as a necessity for infection control purposes, has now proven to remain beneficial in many ways. Many people have discovered that receiving the majority of their support remotely is a far more independent experience than having a live person in your home. It is also vastly less expensive.

Cognitive assists, such as medication and activity of daily living reminders that can be added to GrandCare’s touch screen, allow people with disabilities to be successfully independent and yet still receive the support they need.

Video chats allow users to communicate with family, friends and caregivers. And when face-to-face support is needed, a quick video call is a very efficient way to provide it.

“Earlier this year we invested in Grandcare, an innovative communication tool which we are piloting for three years. Six months on, it is proving invaluable in helping people with autism to live independently. It is personalized and can schedule a routine for a person, reminding them to get up, shower, have lunch or when to take their medication. It can also help them stay in touch with friends and family through video calls,” said a spokesperson from Bolton Cares.

“Our mission is to help people to live the life they want their way and technology is helping us achieve this daily.”

Sophie’s Story

Bolton Cares offers person-centered care to people with autism, complex learning and physical disabilities, older people and people with dementia.

Want to know more about GrandCare? Set up a demo with us.


Image courtesy of BOLTON CARES

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

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:

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

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.

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

Xavier University Releases Study on Technology for Disabilities

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

A blockbuster new study from Xavier University’s Department of Occupational Therapy showed that remote patient monitoring & telehealth technologies including the flagship platform, GrandCare Systems, increased client independence, reduced in-person caregiving hours, and cut the staffing costs dramatically.

LADD, a Cincinnati-area non-profit that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), built a newly constructed “smart home” outfitted with several enabling monitoring and security technologies. In the fall of 2020, four young men moved into the new residence. None of them had ever lived independently, especially without overnight supervision.

Each person has a personal GrandCare touchscreen System for reminders, daily schedule, personal health readings and to video connect with family and staff. Additional motion and activity monitoring sensors can alert remote staff if additional help is needed. Smart appliances, relaxation stations and voice technology are also included in the smart home.

Researchers at Xavier set out to measure “occupational performance” (the ability to do everyday tasks without help), resident satisfaction, and the cost of care in the new smart home setting. The results were remarkable.

One of the metrics used in the study was success in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). These include tasks such as: bathing, dressing, and eating, but also financial management, shopping and meal preparation. The technologies “allowed for residents to perform more of their ADLs and IADLs successfully, with less supervision.” Not only that, but technology-assisted care brought “increases in participants’ self-ratings of performance and satisfaction.”

The men in the smart home were able to do more things independently, for themselves, which led to higher feelings of self worth and satisfaction.

75% Reduction in caregiving hours

The study also found that LADD was able to safely reduce direct caregiving hours by an astonishing 75%. This had a profound impact on the cost of care. Prior to GrandCare and remote monitoring technologies, the cost of supporting these individuals was $5,260 per week.

Annual cost savings of $137,941

Supportive technologies slashed the cost by almost 50% to only $2,607 per week. This represents a cost savings of more than 50%, or $2,653 per week. That’s $137,941 per year. LADD was able to pay off all of the smart home technology in less than a year, in 36.7 weeks.

The study also found that LADD was able to safely reduce direct caregiving hours by an astonishing 75%. This had a profound impact on the cost of care. Prior to GrandCare and remote monitoring technologies, the cost of supporting these individuals was $5,260 per week. Supportive technologies slashed the support costs by over 50% to only $2,607 per week. This represents a cost savings of $2,653 per week. That’s $137,941 per year. LADD was able to recoup the cost of all smart home technology in less than a year– just 36.7 weeks.

Read the Full Xavier Study Here

Assistive Technology ROI for Disability Providers

Would you like to increase independence among the people you support? Would you like to do it while safely reducing in-person support hours? How about cutting costs in half? You can do all of these things.

We at GrandCare Systems and LADD, Inc., the technology and support organizations behind the 2020 smart home project in Cincinnati, are offering a free webinar August 17 at 1pm to share what we’ve learned. Not only that, but we will be sharing the findings of a two year study on the project by researchers at Xavier University.

We will cover:
• Best Practices
• Staff Reduction
• Cost Savings

Free Zoom Webinar
August 17, 1:00pm ET (12:00pm CT)
Register at

More about GrandCare

GrandCare devices

GrandCare is a large intuitive and personalized touchscreen that provides residence-wide cognitive assists, tasks, and schedules. GrandCare also enables easy access to remote support with one touch video calls. It integrates with a wide range of remote activity monitoring sensors and telehealth devices that can alert designated caregivers if support is needed. It’s great for single occupant residences and for homes with multiple supported people. Providing support through GrandCare can enable greater independence for those already in community supported living, and it can often graduate individuals to a new level of independence.

If you would like to explore adopting GrandCare in your disability or aging services support organization please reach out to us at or (262) 337-6147.

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)
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.


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

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

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.

How to help 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