Technology For Seniors

Does it Work? Yep. And Now We Can Prove It.


We have always believed that technology could keep seniors safe, healthy, and connected. This belief is why we do what we do at GrandCare. But can we prove it really is effective for clinical situations? Well that’s an easy answer. Yes. And we have the data to back it up. GrandCare does help the senior and disabled population to stay healthier, while bringing down the cost of care.

In recent case studies, the clients used GrandCare in conjunction with 24/7 case management services. GrandCare automatically recorded patient vitals, reminded patients when to take vitals or medications, passively monitored activity patterns, and triggered rule-based alerts to notify caregivers if something seemed amiss. Caregivers could preventatively address situations, often with simple and inexpensive remedies. These included everything from phone calls, HIPAA-compliant video chats, med changes or, if needed, clinical care. Many clients eligible for nursing home care were able to remain at home.

Overall, the results were remarkable. Patients were healthier, ER visits and hospital readmissions dropped, and senior satisfaction was much higher.

Hospital Readmission Studies

  • One Georgia study used GrandCare technology in conjunction with case management services and found hospital readmissions reduced by 51% from pre-pilot rates.
  • Another study with older adults eligible for nursing home care utilized GrandCare’s passive technology to monitor ADLs and IADLs and found fewer acute hospitalizations, ER visits, LTC days, and SNF admissions.
  • Maryland participants in a GrandCare program saw a 58% reduction in acute care admission rates, for a savings of $372,672.
  • These Maryland participants also experienced a reduction in the all-cause 30-day readmission rate to 4.5% (compared to the 15.95% state average), for a savings of $25,880. The cost to deliver this technology-enabled care was only $6,600.

Emergency Department Utilization

  • One initiative using GrandCare Technology to manage patients with high emergency department utilization achieved a 75% reduction in ER visits.
  • In a passive technology pilot with nursing home eligible patients at risk of falls and living alone, utilization of ER, long-term care and SNFs were all reduced by at least 10%.

Improved Self-Management

  • A patient population using GrandCare Technology demonstrated 88% adherence to their medical device and medication reminder treatment regimen.
  • Participants using GrandCare reported a willingness to become more engaged and felt an increased awareness in self health.

Improved Satisfaction

  • Participants in the Maryland study reported high levels of patient satisfaction.
  • For patients in the Georgia group, 93% reported satisfaction with services.
  • In a pilot of 22 patients using GrandCare, 100% of respondents agreed with the statement, “I have no difficulty telling others about the benefits of the system.”

Chronic Disease Management

  • Patients using GrandCare with Uncontrolled Diabetes demonstrated improvements, with A1C (blood glucose) values at or below their baseline.
  • In those patients managing Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) with the combination of GrandCare telehealth monitoring and care coaching, 96.5% of them maintained or improved their baseline NYHA classification score.
  • For patients managing Hypertension with GrandCare, care coaching, a BP cuff and telehealth tools, 84% were able to maintain or improve their JNC-7 classification score.


  • One study found that the initial investment in technology was recouped in 1-3 years due to reduced costs of care.
  • The total savings in reduced acute admissions was $372,672 for patients using GrandCare with RPM and care management, while the cost to administer this technology-enabled care was $64,500. Leaving the total cost savings at $308,172.

GrandCare facilitates better care, better outcomes, lower costs, while improving patient satisfaction. We always knew that was true. And now we can prove it.

GrandCare to Be Featured on USDA Website

GrandCare Systems is proud to announce that we will be featured on the USDA Target Center website beginning in early-to-mid May. What is the Target Center? According to the USDA website

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established the Technology & Accessible Resources Give Employment Today (TARGET) Center in 1992 to utilize the power of technology and provide impactful services related to improving accessibility and contributing to the complete employment experience of individuals with disabilities.”

The video, which shows how GrandCare helps make it possible for seniors to age happy and healthy in their homes, is being included as part of Older Americans Month, as the USDA seeks to “…highlight disability-related [technologies] that enhance the Department’s employer of choice capability for individuals with disabilities.” GrandCare is honored to support that mission.

Watch the GrandCare video here:

To find out more, please contact GrandCare at or call us at (262) 338-6147.

Turns out you have to take the drug for it to work…

Everett C. Koop once said: “drugs don’t work in patients that don’t take them”… wise words…

I think medication noncompliance has several factors involved.

Sometimes it’s as simple as forgetting when and how to take a medication. This is the simplest form of noncompliance to fix. Text messages, watches, reminder alarms, touch-enabled pop-ups, phone calls, etc. can all be used to remind the user that would like to be compliant to take medications on-time and correctly. Pretty easy and not rocket science, nor are many of these technology fixes new by any means.
Other times there are other reasons for noncompliance including:
– patient doesn’t think they need the drugs
– adverse side effects (drug made them have to get up too many times during the night to go to the bathroom, acid reflux, dizziness, etc.)
– lack of transportation to get the refill
– lack of monies to get the refill

The trouble doesn’t necessarily fall with reminding someone to take medications, although, that certainly may be half the battle and the noncompliance issues resolved with that is well worth it. The other factors listed above are the ones that we need to know and it’s not so simple as to know if the patient didn’t take the drug, but so much more importantly it’s WHY….WHY didn’t they take the drug?

If we don’t know why, we cannot fix the problem. If they don’t think they need it, this should be addressed by family members and potentially a physician. Perhaps it could be as simple to remind the patient that this drug is meant to lower your blood pressure or perhaps this drug is to alleviate arthritis pain. If it’s a transportation issue, simply reminding the patient to take the drug will not help. If it’s a side effect issue, we need to intervene and find out if there is an antidote to the issue. For example, if a patient experienced stomach issues, prescribing an antacid along with the prescription could fix the problem and make that patient compliant. If it’s a financial issue, maybe we can get a social service involved. Again, a simple reminder will not the total solution.

We need technology tools that can enable a resident to not only “decline” a medication, but also indicate why so we have a chance at solving the issue at hand. I think there is so much emphasis on only knowing if the meds were taken or not, but we don’t take that extra step to figure out the ANSWER to noncompliance. More intuitive, interactive technology engaging the resident to remind them how and why to take the medication AND enable them to say why they are noncompliant.

Walgreens, CVS…you should be all over this!!

GrandCare thrives in hospice/palliative care

GrandCare client, Knute Nelson,  is a senior care provider in Minnesota who have been proactive and visionary in embracing caregiving technology as a tool to better their care.  The GrandCare System enables Knute Nelson to provide more proactive, proficient, predictive & cost-effective care to in-home clients, facility-based clients and rural clients.


We have had tremendous success with GrandCare in both Home Care and Hospice. In Hospice, GrandCare has been a primary means of facilitating end-of-life communication between our clients and their distant families. Our clients have had Skype, letter and picture contact with their loved ones in over 6 states and one foreign country. In Home Care, GrandCare is an integral part of our care delivery system, allowing the family and caregiving team to promote safety and health education, provide for early recognition and intervention to changes in condition, and facilitate enhanced communication and participation of the entire caregiving team. One Home Care client states, “I depend on it now. It’s comforting to have GrandCare. It’s like having a nurse right here with you.”

Knute Nelson Resident utilizes GrandCare technology in conjunction with in-home caregiving services

Knute Nelson is a non-profit, Christian-based organization that combines an extraordinary legacy with an innovative presence in senior care.

Contact Knute Nelson

  • Knute Nelson Care Center – 320.763.6653
  • Nelson Gables – 320.762.4310
  • Grand Arbor – 320.763.1600
  • Nelson Wellness Center – 320.759.4613
  • Subacute & Therapy Center – 320.763.6653
  • Home Care – 320.759.1273
  • Hospice Care – 320.759.1270

Entry One GrandCare Stroke Informational Series powered by RTH Foundation

Welcome to GrandCare’s Stroke Awareness Series featuring information provided by the RTH Stroke Foundation:

We will continue our stroke awareness series by showcasing facts, prevention methods and ways that GrandCare digital health technology can mitigate risks associated with stroke

Sandys Screen

Monitor & Control your Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Diabetes & Lifestyle

Use GrandCare technology to automatically track and record your blood pressure, weight, pulse ox and/or gluocse readings AND provide it remotely to a dedicated family member, caregiving or healthcare provider.  


According to the RTH Foundation, taking these simple precautions can help mitigate the risk of potential stroke.  RTH also recommends a healthy diet, regular exercise and adhering to medications described by your doctor.  GrandCare can provide informational tools, provide a socialization resource for family members to check in, and a remote, online medication scheduling and reminder platform.  GrandCare also provides the opportunity for a family member to video chat into the GrandCare System and observe if a loved one may need added support or assistance.



What Can You Do About Stroke?  

By RTH Stroke Foundation

“Today stroke is the Number 4 cause of death, and the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. Each year in this country people suffer 795,000 strokes, 610,000 of which are first strokes. Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of race, sex or age.

Strokes, sometimes called “brain attacks,” occur because of a sudden failure of the brain to receive the oxygen and nutrients it needs to thrive. This can happen for either of two reasons: a vessel leading the brain is blocked or a vessel in the brain ruptures.

Here’s the really good news. Experts say that fully 80% of all strokes are preventable.   Eighty per cent! Think about that. If you buy a lottery ticket, your odds of winning the big one are as tiny as 1 in 127 million against you.  But if you control your risk factors, the odds of avoiding a stroke are 8 to 10 in your favor.  So why would you not do that?

Here are some risk factors you can control:

Blood Pressure. If your blood pressure is regularly about 120/80, it’s in great shape.  If it’s regularly above 140/90, you’ve got a problem and should see your doctor to find out what to do about it. Diet, exercise and medication can help,

High Cholesterol.  Every body needs cholesterol, but too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can clog arteries and lead to a stroke or heart attack.  In addition to having an overall cholesterol reading of less that 200, you should have an HDL (good cholesterol) reading above 40, and an LDL (bad cholesterol) reading of less than 100. The best defense is a diet high in grains, fruits and vegetables, and low in saturated fat.  In addition, your doctor can prescribe medications that can help lower your cholesterol.

Diabetes. If you’re a Type 2  diabetic keeping your blood glucose level in the low 100’s is essential.  Weight loss alone can accomplish this in many people.  Doctors can also prescribe medication.

Controllable lifestyle factors. Maintain an anti-stroke lifestyle: a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, no smoking, little or no alcohol and using any medication your doctor prescribes.

While there are some risk factors you can’t control — age, gender, race, prior heart attack, and family history of stroke — there is much you can do to switch the odds in your favor.

Diagnosing Stroke on the Spot

Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing the risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. If you can recognize the symptoms of stroke and act immediately, you may help to limit the disabilities the person will incur and you may even save that person’s life.

If you are in the presence of someone who is exhibiting symptoms of stroke, use the FAST method to do a layperson’s diagnosis.

Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

Arm. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, such as, “Most grass is green.” Does the speech sound slurred or strange?

Time. If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to call 9-1-1 — immediately.

If you want more information about stroke prevention, diagnosis, treatment or support groups, contact the RTH Stroke Foundation in Laguna Hills.   Phone: (888) 794-9466.  Their sole purpose is to wipe out stroke.  Their seminars, support groups, and screenings are all free.”

The above blog was borrowed with permission from the RTH Stroke Foundation:

GrandCare: My In-Home 2nd Brain

The “GrandCare” System Acting as my
“In-Home 2nd Brain” (so to speak…)

med-set-431The GrandCare System continues to be a solid and substantial in-home 2nd brain for me as I continue to work with the folks at the company. I forgot to take my meds the other evening, but was reminded to do so by the system with a text to my phone, etc. Reminders and events, etc are sent to me throughout each day – it is spectacular. More in the coming days and weeks as I (or others in my family or caregivers input more information into my system). Take care!

By Alexander Sandy Halperin, DDS
De-Stigmatizing Alzheimer’s

“Livable Cities”: What it takes for today’s cities to cater to our aging population!!

Technologies & Requirements to Enable Independence for Seniors in Cities

A musing by GrandCare founder, Charlie Hillman

GrandCare creates technology to empower the elderly to age and heal in place.  Our mission is to reduce the societal cost of long term, post acute, chronic condition, and hospice care while providing a safer, healthier, and happier life for seniors.  The notion of livable cities is of particular importance to our aging population.  Many cities, particularly those in nicer climates have seen large increases in their senior populations. Certainly part of this is the natural aging demographic of the first world, but there is clearly a movement of seniors from rural and suburban venues into the cities.

And it makes sense – cities have a number of big advantages for seniors.

  • They can walk to products and services.
  • There is mass transportation, often with senior discounts
  • There are downsized accommodations without lawn work.
  • There is easy access to senior services.
  • There is good access to healthcare, a particularly important need of seniors.

And, seniors are good for cities – they pay their taxes, they represent considerable wealth, they require services, they volunteer, they provide the wisdom of the ages, and of course, they have a pretty low crime rate.  Given all of this, a larger senior population also presents challenges to cities. Many of these seniors are the recipients of some sort of government assistance. While the federal or state government may be the ultimate payer, the Cities are often responsible for the actual frontline provision of services. Clearly the goal is to provide these services in a compassionate and yet efficient manner.

It is my contention that technology can play a vital component to meet these challenges.

Allow me to muse for a bit and describe what that technology might look like.

Read more

Grand News for GrandCare this April

Front Page! Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“A Time To Build – Why entrepreneurs are key to jump-starting the Milwaukee area’s economic rebirth”

By Rick Romell

“Or consider the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where in January Hillman climbed onto a step stool in front of GrandCare’s booth and told scores of invited media and other guests, virtually all of them sipping free beer from the company, that the little West Bend firm had signed its biggest contract ever.”

Read More


Midland Daily News:

“GrandCare Systems provides seniors peace of mind”

Congratulations to David and Becky Schmelzer of Reassure Resources for their appearance in the Midland Daily News!

“The goal is to keep people in their homes for their enjoyment and for caregivers to stay in contact,” said Dave Schmelzer, owner of Reassure Resources and area distributor for GrandCare. “A lot of these people are lonely and don’t have any socialization.”

Read More on why his organization chose to partner with GrandCare Systems.

GrandCare, 2012 CEA Innovation Entrepreneur Award, Small Business of the Year Finalist

We have been nominated by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA, the organization that hosts CES) for the Innovation Entrepreneur Award, Small Business of the Year. CEA flew to our offices and did a fantastic video interview with Charlie Hillman, founder of GrandCare Systems. He explains how our technology assists seniors to age within the comforts of their own home, stay connected to their friends and loved ones and ” to have something to look forward to live for.” Take a look at the short video below.

From these four  finalists,  two small businesses will be announced as this year’s winners at the 2012 CEA Industry Forum, October, 14 -17 in San Francisco.  The 2012 finalists for the Innovation Entrepreneur Small Business of the Year Award include:

·         Audio Video Interiors – Middleburg Heights, OH
·         EcoATM – San Diego, CA
·         GrandCare – West Bend, WI
·         iBiquity – Columbia, MD

GrandCare’s Laura Mitchell chosen as CEA Mark of Excellence Judge

GrandCare’s Vice President of Business Development, Laura Mitchell, has been selected as a CEA Mark of Excellence Judge!

The Mark of Excellence System Integrator Awards Program recognizes the best in custom integration and installed technology. There are 14 categories in which custom installers can submit projects for.  The judging begins in early October and the winners are announced at the Mark of Excellence Systems Integrator Awards Reception in January 2013 during the International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The MOEs [Mark of Excellence Awards] mean more than any other industry association award and they represent the best the electronics and installation professional industry has to offer.” – Robert Archer, EH publisher

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