Tag Archive for: disability

Open Minds presentation by GrandCare

GrandCare Presents at Smart Home Expo: Innovative Technologies For The Consumer in Philadelphia this October

Join us for the first-ever Smart Home Expo on October 26, 2023, hosted by OPEN MINDS. As part of the OPEN MINDS Technology and Analytics Institute, this day-long event is dedicated to recent advancements in smart home technology that support independent and community-based living for persons with disabilities and older adults. The expo will feature innovative smart home technologies -both general and specialized–used today by health and human service agencies to support independence in community-based living.

Our own director of U.S. sales, Scott Feldstein, and our director of implementation & compliance, Hans Cabrera, will be presenting at 3:15pm ET. We will discuss issues in the disability/aging services and how technology like GrandCare can address those concerns. Issues like:

  • People with I/DD deserve as much independence as they can get, and receiving all the help they need through in-person support isn’t very independent.
  • States seemingly cannot fully fund the need for disability support services.
  • Even if the money was available, where would the workforce come from? There is a nationwide staff shortage crisis in every type of in-home care, including disability support.

About GrandCare

GrandCare Systems aims to reduce the staffing costs for disability and the aging population. Their touchscreen platform assists with cognitive needs, such as checklists, medication reminders, instructional videos, and more. The technology collects data through motion and telehealth sensors and alerts a remote support team. Learn more about how GrandCare Systems are reducing onsite caregiver hours, enabling independence, and cutting costs on staffing.

Scott Feldstein at Open Minds 2023

Han Cabrera at Open Minds 2023

More info at OPEN MINDS.

Disability Pride Flag

What is Disability Pride Month?

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA), which protects people with disabilities from discrimination, was passed. Disability Pride Month, observed every July, coincides with the passing of this landmark act.

Disability is a Large Minority Group

According to the CDC, 27% of the United States have some type of disability making them the largest and most diverse minority group. Those disabilities may include…

  • Mobility: including serious difficulties walking or climbing stairs – 12.1%
  • Cognition: difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions – 12.8%
  • Independent living: difficulty doing errands alone – 7.2%
  • Self Care: difficulty dressing or bathing – 3.6%

Why Disability Pride is Important

According to Easterseals, a nonprofit which provides disability services and support, “disability pride emerged in response to negative views of disability and to promote human rights. Many people view their disability as an integral part of who they are, rather than something that should be separated from their identity.”

We honor people with disabilities just as they are, as we continue to create and promote environments that conform to their needs and preferences rather than asking them to conform to the status quo. At GrandCare, we believe the best technology is the technology that works for everyone. We will continue to make our platform more and more accessible so that more and more people of various backgrounds and diversities can become part of the GrandCare family.

The Disability Pride Flag

Not familiar with the Disability Pride Flag? Here’s what it represents.

  • Black Field: Mourning for victims of ableist violence and abuse
  • Diagonal Band: “Cutting across” the walls and barriers that separate disabled people from society
  • Red Stripe: Physical disabilities
  • Gold Stripe: Neurodivergence
  • White Stripe: Invisible and undiagnosed disabilities
  • Blue Stripe: Psychiatric disabilities
  • Green Stripe: Sensory disabilities

Source: Wikipedia

Caregiver with mentally challenged senior man

Disability Care Staffing Solutions: How Enabling Technologies Are Solving the Provider Shortage

While many disability service providers struggle with staffing shortages, some are finding solutions to mitigate the problem, cutting costs and increasing independence and outcomes for their residents using enabling technologies.

We recently hosted an engaging discussion with three leaders from organizations utilizing enabling technologies such as GrandCare during our webinar, Combatting DSP Staffing Shortages with Assistive Technology. Our guest speakers included Brian Hart, the COO of LADD and the CEO of ShiftAbility, and Heather Weitz and Christine Gilbertson of Wisconsin-based provider, Opportunity Inc.

LADD is an agency in Ohio that, four years ago, wanted to use technology-enabled supports to change the way they delivered services. As they looked to solve a staff shortage, they devised a Smart Living model. “The Smart Living model is not just a piece of technology or software, it’s a new way of delivering services using technology first, value-added supports, a way we assess staff, cultural methodology of inclusive services, and a whole bunch of different models.” Out of that bore ShiftAbility, a consulting arm, as a way to share how to implement these models for other organizations.

A smart home uses technology like GrandCare touchscreens, sensors, health devices and med dispensers that work as a support system and other home technologies like smart refrigerators and stoves.

“There’s never going to be enough people to provide the support. If you want to provide more supports, you have to do it a different way.” Brian Hart.

Opportunity Inc. is a nonprofit organization in Wisconsin that provides supports in AFH (adult family home) settings and community supportive living settings. Heather and Christina work in the community supportive living program.

“GrandCare has given us a way to actually implement self-sufficiency. Instead of just having staff come in, teach them something and 20 minutes after we walk about the door they completely forget everything that we went through, with GrandCare we’re able to upload videos and add reminders. This has been a huge way that GrandCare has helped us get to the independent living skills and maintain those independent living skills,” said Christina.

A GrandCare system is a remote monitoring and remote support platform on a stationary 17-inch touchscreen that can be set on a countertop or mounted on a wall. The touchscreen can deliver cognitive assists in the form of reminders for ADLs, medication, calendar appointments and much more. It can connect with motion sensors in the home and health devices such as pulse oximeters. Notification rules, simple if-then statements, can be customized for each individual and their support team. The touchscreen provides secure video calls, plus the system includes games, live radio and other entertainment features.

“It helps with staffing as well. We have some clients in their own homes that just need us to go check that they took their medications. Now they can mark off that they did it, and if we need a visual we can video chat instead of having somebody go over. Some of them like that because they want their privacy,” said Heather.

Christina added that many of their high functioning clients use a button on the touchscreen to check in for the night, which sends a notification to the staff that they’re safe at home, and that allows the staff to focus on the people who they need to be physically present for.

“They like that they feel more independent. Instead of coming to us all the time they can go on to their own GrandCare system and look for their schedules, see if they have doctor appointments or when the staff might be coming, and what they’re going to be doing with staff that day.” Heather Weitz

What’s the ROI on Assistive Technology?

The first LADD smart home was part of a two-year study by Xavier University. Researchers 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. 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.

“The technology ROI is less than nine months. It’s getting even faster now as we get more efficient,” said Brian. “Each year we’re able to do more with the same amount of resources.”

Learn More

Want to learn more about the GrandCare technology, choosing residents, setting up tech, staff training and funding? You can view the recording of our webinar.

“The big issues we have in our field are staffing, funding and transportation. We can solve for a lot of staffing and funding using technology.” Brian Hart

Have questions or would like to see a free demo? Contact us.

Combatting DSP Staffing Shortages with Assistive Technology Wed May 3, 2023 12pm ET

Combatting DSP Staffing Shortages with Assistive Technology

GrandCare is teaming up with ShiftAbility, LADD and disability service provider Opportunity Inc. to provide a free educational webinar on how technology can help with staffing shortages on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.

Are you struggling with staffing? Are your recruiting initiatives falling short of your goals? Are you seeing an increase in need with a reduced caregiving team?

You are not alone.

Many disability service providers are understandably focused on dealing with the staffing crisis and have little time to explore things like assistive self-directed technology and remote supports. But what if you could solve your staffing issue and provide better and more cost-effective care through technology?

Xavier University’s Department of Occupational Therapy conducted a study of LADD’s smart home in 2020. The results indicated that remote patient monitoring and telehealth technologies including the flagship platform, GrandCare Systems, increased client independence, reduced in-person caregiving hours, and cut staffing costs by 75%. This helped with LADD’s staffing shortage, not to mention the profound impact it had on the cost of care.

Want to know how you can implement this kind of technology? Join us for our free webinar as we walk you through steps you can take to not only minimize the effect of low staff numbers and incorporate assistive/remote technology, but also increase independence and better outcomes for your residents in a way that could actually save you money. Hear about real-life examples from other providers, such as LADD’s smart living program, ask questions, and more. Provider attendees will receive a one-time special discount for purchasing GrandCare Systems. Contact GrandCare for more details.

We will cover:

  • Choosing your technology
  • Installation
  • Resident selection & training
  • How to set up onsite/remote staff supports
  • Funding sources
  • And more

Laura Mitchell, CEO of GrandCare Systems
Brian Hart, COO LADD & CEO ShiftAbility
Heather Weitz, DSP, Opportunity Inc.
Christina Gilbertson, DSP, Opportunity Inc.

Wednesday, May 3rd
9am PT/12p ET

You can’t afford to miss this! Open to all. Register now.

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.

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.

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 https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NrUHRoeARTuNDm2NpvRi2w

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 sales@grandcare.com or (262) 337-6147.

Not just for seniors… grandCARE helps developmentally disabled too.

The grandCARE system remote monitoring and communication solution may have started by solving a need to help the elderly age in place, but it’s not just for seniors. Our product has shown to be an effective monitoring solution, as well as, a social and communication tool for developmentally disabled individuals, allowing them to live more independent lives.

Channel 13 ABC affiliate in Toledo, Ohio, recently featured a success story on how a grandCARE solution is being used as an in-home monitoring tool by the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities to help individuals with developmental disabilities remain more independent.


In addition to remote monitoring and video communication functions, the grandCARE system’s simple touchscreen design can include easy one-touch access to a wide range of information including: Facebook photo sharing, Calendars, Task List Reminders, Messaging, Letters, Games, News, Weather, and virtually any website.

For even more added benefits, our system capabilities can include wireless motion sensor activity monitoring and digital medical device vital measurement tracking.

To learn more about how a grandCARE system solution can benefit your organization or someone you know, please visit our website at: www.grandCARE.com.