Tag Archive for: Home Health Care

smart technology for seniors

Smart technology for seniors? Yes, it does exist.

Proactive versus reactive care is something that unfortunately too often becomes a hindsight 20/20 revelation for some elderly patients and their families. “If only we had known…” they would say. The truth is technology these days is not just good, it’s really good.  Better than it was even just a few short years ago. The thing about technology is that it is always changing, evolving, and getting more sophisticated. That’s not to say that it is getting more complicated necessarily, in fact, in many cases the technology is actually getting easier to use. More hands free. Requiring even less for the user to do manually, with the advent of voice recognition, smart watches, and even artificially intelligent computers.

I mean, just a few years ago, it would have seemed unfathomable to think that you could talk into your phone, tablet, or computer to ask it a simple question and actually expect to get an intelligent response. Today, we can ask something as simple as “do I need an umbrella today?” and our technology device will actually give us a resonable answer related to our local weather report.

The same holds true for technology advancements in healthcare with virtual care services, and personal health/fitness monitoring devices. But did you know that there is even more advanced technology out there that is designed to help prevent hospitalizations, manage chronic conditions, and track daily activities, all to keep the elderly and disabled living independently for as long as possible in order to postpone the need for long-term care?


Introducing the grandCARE system. We provide a technology solution that benefits seniors, family caregivers, and professional senior care workers alike. It starts with our innovative touchscreen interface which has been carefully designed with the end-user in mind. It features large, easy-to-read icons and can be fully customized to include as few or as many menu options as desired. The platform is so intuitive to use, that no previous computer experience is required to enjoy.
The touchscreen can be use as key source of socialization, entertainment, and communication for the senior user with our integrated family Facebook photo sharing, video chatting, games, websites, news, weather and more available options.

Next, our passive activity and motion monitoring is an effective and unintrusive way to analyze patterns of behavior to become more aware when something isn’t quite right. Our sensors can detect when there is too much, too little or no motion, and alert when something out of the ordinary occurs. The alert rules can be established to send out a message by phone call, text, or email to one or multiple designated parties.

At grandCARE, we believe in not only helping seniors stay independent, but strive to enable them the ability to proactively manage their own health and wellness too. This is why we have available digital medical devices to take important health vital readings digitally using our innovative system. The data is captured on the system, and stored on our secure servers making the information accessible at anytime to a family member or professional care manager using our online based care portal. The information can be reviewed in report or chart format, and even exported as a PDF to send to a professional health care provider as well.

A recent article by Maryalene LaPonsie, featured in the U.S. News and World Report provides more support for the benefits that technology can have with seniors, families, and those in the long-term care industry.

For those who want to maximize their peace of mind, Gomez says the Cadillac of virtual long-term care is a remote-monitoring system like that offered by grandCARE.

With this system, activity sensors are placed in a senior’s home. To use grandCARE, Managed Senior Care first evaluates what a typical “good day” looks like for a senior and sets alerts accordingly. For example, if a senior typically has breakfast by 9 a.m. and the refrigerator hasn’t been opened by that time, an alert may go out to a caregiver.

As with Banner iCare, seniors using the grandCARE system are set up with a tablet. In this case, it’s an oversized tablet that can be remotely activated. If a caregiver needs to check on a senior, he or she can open Skype which will activate the camera and microphone on the tablet. At that point, the caregiver can look for the senior and call out to him or her to determine whether help is needed.

“One of the reasons we like this product is because it’s respectful of the senior,” Gomez says. “You know when people are watching. There is no secret monitoring.”

The article goes on to show how virtual care services are having an impact with both cost savings and patient outcomes:

“We save over $4,000 per patient per year and avoid hospital visits and readmissions,” Herzog says. From 2013 to 2014, Banner Health tracked the outcomes of newly enrolled Banner iCare members and compared that to claims data from the year before their enrollment. They found the program resulted in an overall 27 percent cost savings of $788 per patient per month. Hospitalizations also dropped from 11.5 per 100 patients per month in the year prior to enrollment to 6.3 per 100 patients per month six months after enrollment.

So, going back to where we started…”if only we had known.” Well, now you do.

Technology paves the way to tackling the senior care crisis

According to the U.S. Department of Health Human Services and the Administration for Community Living, the elderly population in the United States is expected to more than double from 39 million to 72 million by 2030. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing also predicts that there will be a serious nursing shortfall in the next few years as there will not be enough to meet these increasing demands. These issues along with the rising costs of long-term care leads many seniors and their families seeking alternatives to allow the elderly to remain independent and aging at home for as long as possible.

Prairie Business Magazine

This is where home care providers and technology can bridge this widening gap. A recent article by Kris Bevill in the July Issue of the Prairie Business Magazine, in Grand Forks, ND talks about these issues that are becoming a big concern for the northern Plains where much of the population is in the 65 years plus range.

This new and growing demand, combined with a region-wide health care worker shortage, means the fairly young home health care industry is often racing to keep up with patient loads and regulations, but providers say they are confident they will continue to meet demand, thanks in part to new methods of care delivery. – See more at: http://www.prairiebizmag.com/event/article/id/24157/#sthash.akar3ksu.dpuf

In the article, Patti Cullen, president and CEO of Care Providers of Minnesota talks about how “congregate settings allow fewer workers to care for more patients. She also points to technology as a great potential aid in allowing seniors to remain in their home with limited personnel visits.”

Anne Major, president of Fargo-based Ethos Home Care agrees that technology can aid the industry by confronting staffing challenges while providing top-notch care to patients.

Major points out that Ethos has been advertising for a licensed practical nurse and another RN “for quite a while,” but finding staff is an ongoing problem. “The hospitals are feeling it, the care centers are feeling it, and home care is feeling it as well,” Major says.

She adds, “incorporating technology into home care not just for the staffing benefits, but for the additional well-being that remote monitoring can provide for families. Technology can be utilized in a variety of ways for senior care. Medication dispensers can send an alarm to caregivers if medicine is not dispensed at the correct time, motion sensors can automatically trigger lights to turn when a person enters a room or steps on the floor as they get out of bed. Major offers another example she’s seen firsthand, where a child was concerned about his parent leaving home and becoming disoriented, so a sensor was enabled to alert the child whenever the parent’s garage door opens or closes.” – See more at: http://www.prairiebizmag.com/event/article/id/24157/#sthash.akar3ksu.dpuf

Knute Nelson, based in Alexandria, MN utilizes the GrandCare Systems technology to meet their care giving needs by providing a touch screen in the patient’s home.

The grandCARE product is a complete care system that combines telehealth, activity monitoring, digital health management, medication reminders, remote patient monitoring and entertainment/social engagement features into a single, easy-to-use touchscreen designed to keep seniors aging in place.

Technology like grandCARE can actually be more affordable than you think. For home care, senior living and other healthcare organizations, grandCARE offers special enterprise solution programs that can make implementation of this type of technology a reality. Jerry Furness, Chief Operating Officer at grandCARE systems says, “we believe in the benefits of our system and want to provide organizations an opportunity to reap the benefits which is why we have these special enterprise programs in place. Our goal is to make implementation happen in a meaningful way by partially or fully eliminating the up front cost hurdles for these groups.”

Caregiver showing grandCARE user new task list feature.

Caregiver showing grandCARE user new task list feature.

System Comp HR

The article concludes: Andrea Jung, president of Elk River, Minnesota-based Guardian Angels Elimm Healthcare and Hospice added, “I’m really excited about the potential there is for home care….I think technology is going to be a big impact and change the way we deliver care and how many people we’re reaching. There are so many things going on in this industry that I’m really excited about.”

About grandCARE:

GrandCare Systems LLC, founded in 2005, offers the most comprehensive and holistic professional care giving and health coordination tool on the market.  grandCARE is a large touch platform which provides health instructions, secure video chat, wireless vital recordings and analytics, medication compliance, activity sensing, and family communications into one intuitive and expandable platform.  grandCARE focuses on true individual centered care, enabling better experience, better engagement, and better outcomes. For more information, visit: www.grandcare.com or call 262-338-6147.

 Media Contact:

Amy Schwengels       262.338.6147   media@grandCARE.com

Flagship Franchises of MN, Inc. Includes GrandCare to its Services

Minnesota entrepreneur, Deborah Delaney, has recently added the innovative technological product known as GrandCare to her company, Flagship Franchises of Minnesota, as a way to ensure that seniors are realizing the best possible quality of life.


PRLog (Press Release) – Apr 20, 2012 –
(Savage, Minn) – Minnesota entrepreneur, Deborah Delaney, has recently added the innovative technological product known as GrandCare to her company, Flagship Franchises of Minnesota, as a way to ensure that seniors are realizing the best possible quality of life. Delaney is passionate about the need for high quality care for seniors, the fastest growing population in the U.S. She recognized GrandCare as a new technology that can help seniors live a more fulfilled social life, safer home life, ensures through monitoring that health issues are taken care of, and provides family with peace of mind.

About GrandCare
GrandCare combines aspects of “Smart Home” automation, Internet communications, social networking designed for residents, tele-health assessment, ADL (activity of daily living) monitoring, cognitive assists, medication management and two-way video chat technologies into one flexible, user friendly, and affordable package. Available since 2006, GrandCare Systems offers the most comprehensive and fully featured aging & technology system on the market today.

The GrandCare System begins with an interactive computer box (no mouse or keyboard) along with sensors in the Resident’s home. Typically placed in a high-traffic area, the GrandCare System quietly listens to the activity and wellness sensors while providing a simple, intuitive interface (interactive touch and non-interactive TV versions available) for the Resident to receive social interactions from family, keep up with current events, play games, and receive cognitive prompts throughout the day. Using a standard Internet browser, remote Caregivers can go online to view activities, monitor vitals, send messages and designate rules as to when and how they’d like to be alerted upon unusual activity in the residence.

As CEO of Flagship Franchises of Minnesota, Delaney offers the GrandCare system through Flagship to her SarahCare clients and to anyone who could benefit from this innovative technology.

Delaney recognized that GrandCare ultimately allows the elderly to live more independently whether they are on their own or living with a loved one. Not only does the program monitor health and medication, it also allows seniors to maintain social connections; even participate in “real time” activities and events. When asked why she made the decision to include GrandCare in her services provided by Flagship, Delaney responded; “Many people are working full-time and have to run home on their lunch hour to check in and/or disperse medication, take blood pressure readings, etcetera. The GrandCare system provides not only a peace of mind, but respite for the caregiver.” This was an important to the home care part of her business.

About Flagship Franchises 
Deborah Delaney is owner and CEO of Flagship Franchises of Minnesota, Inc. Ms. Delaney founded the company in 2002 with the vision of creating and investing in companies that “connect people with premium care”. Its initial investment is SarahCare® a franchise specializing in providing superior Adult Day Care and Home Health Care Services. Community Based Services and the Elder Care Market are two of the most flourishing industries in the United States.

More About SarahCare
SarahCare© is a participant-driven program developed in 1985 by internationally renowned gerontologist Dr. Merle Griff, Ph.D. in Canton, Ohio. The unique program begins with the individual and reaches outward to involve the community as a whole. SarahCare© offers unparalleled assistance to the participant’s special needs, but more importantly recognizes the uniqueness of each individual. Beyond our professional staff of nurses and specialists helping with the daily tasks of living, SarahCare© seeks to share in the richness of the individual’s personal life and actually customize the environment to stimulate the client’s senses.

From specialty programs like our Men’s Club and Kitchen Crusaders, SarahCare® truly is a unique concept that is setting the standard for the adult day services industry.

Delaney opened the SarahCare of Savage, MN facility in 2004 as the first investment of her Flagship Franchises of Minnesota enterprise.

For more information about any of these services or to schedule an interview, contact Deborah Delaney
Office:  952-465-0555
Mobile: 612-810-9796

Moving an aging parent can lead to negative outcomes…?

I read an article today about why the transitions in healthcare (moving from one place to another) alone are causing a large number of avoidable issues.  The author focuses on the notion of going from assisted living to skilled nursing or even skilled nursing to a hospital and while I absolutely agree with this, I think we can take it one step further and say it starts really when we move them out of their homes.  An ounce of prevention will most certainly lead to more than a pound of cure. The initiatives in place to help individuals manage their own chronic conditions and proactively have a say in their own care will really help to keep individuals safer and healthier at home. Our goals at GrandCare are simple: to enable a loved one to stay “in place” for longer – wherever that may be. Some use a technology to stay independent at home, others (professional caregivers) use it take care of multiple residents and enable more independence, less personal intervention, more space & privacy and more enhanced safety.  This can help a wing to transition to higher levels of care without moving residences.  NORCs (Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities) are exactly where this country is headed and it has to be that way. We simply don’t have the brick and mortar available nor the personal caregivers available for the aging population! So, we use technology assists to enable our caregivers to extend their reach and continue to provide care, we use technology to help individuals remain at home….

GrandCare is just one piece of the puzzle (we can connect individuals, remind them to do things, encourage doctor/patient collaboration, guide in total wellness & chronic disease mgmt…now we just need some reimbursement policies in place to help cover this obvious solution…

Why ‘Transitions’ In Health Care Are Dangerous And How To Avoid Them

By Fran Cronin
Guest Blogger

With more than 1.6 million Americans now living in nursing homes, many of us are all too familiar with the debilitating cycle of a nursing home admission followed by repeated hospitalizations, a spiraling into decline, and ultimately death.

I know for my 87-year old father, now living in an assisted living facility, the prospect of a nursing home leaves him hoping he will just drift off one night in his sleep.

new study released this week by Brown University and published in The New England Journal of Medicine, confirms what many of us have observed: health care transitions, such as moves in and out of the hospital from a nursing home, do not lead to positive outcomes. More common are frequent medical errors; poor care coordination, infections and additional medications. For patients with acute dementia, these transitions can exacerbate already present symptoms such as agitation, confusion and emotional distress.

The scope of this syndrome — in which health care transitions often turn into emergencies — is expressed in a key Brown finding: almost one in five nursing home residents with advanced dementia experienced repeated hospitalizations in the last 90 days of life. Some were even moved as late as the last three days of their life. Burdensome transitions were also found to correlate with other indicators of poor end-of-life care.

I know for my 87-year old father, the prospect of a nursing home leaves him hoping he will just drift off one night in his sleep.

This is a far cry from the overt wishes of most families, says Dr. Joan Teno, one of the study’s lead authors and Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University….

To read the entire article click here

Majority of Americans Agree ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ for Care of Elderly Family Members

I wanted to post this article I ran across today, because it’s so spot on with our values and mission. Since 2006, the staff at GrandCare has been promoting our ADL, Wellness, Communication & Cognition technology to help loved ones to remain independent, safer, healthier, more free, connected to family, and at ease will at home. The family members and care partners have “peace of mind” knowing that all is well with a loved one and that if anything seems amiss (excessive weight gain, med noncompliance, failure to get out of bed, etc), they can specify a phone call, email or text. GrandCare Systems is the IDEAL partner technology and caregiver tool for a home health company like Amedisys.

Nov. 9, 2010, 8:00 a.m. EST
Majority of Americans Agree ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ for Care of Elderly Family Members

New Amedisys poll shows that 3 out of 4 Americans would choose home health care for their loved ones’ medical needs over nursing homes and other care facilities

BATON ROUGE, La., Nov. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — When faced with managing the care of an aging or ill family member, a new survey shows that Americans want to keep their loved ones close to home. According to a national telephone poll conducted by Harris Interactive for Amedisys, a leading provider of home care and hospice services (AMED 27.90, +0.22, +0.79%) , 74 percent of Americans would prefer having a terminally ill family member taken care of at home with the care of a trained health aide, rather than in a traditional nursing home or other care facility. In comparison, only 10 percent would prefer a nursing home and six percent would choose an outpatient center. The poll also found that when considering care for an elderly family member recuperating from surgery, half (51 percent) would prefer home health care over any other facility.

The survey was conducted as part of Amedisys’ Annual Home Care Matters Initiative around National Home Care and Hospice Month, a national month of recognition across the industry, which takes place each November.

The poll results show that Americans have a preference for home care for themselves, as well. If faced with chronic medical care, terminal illness or surgery recuperation, the overwhelming majority of Americans would prefer home health care versus off-site care at a nursing home, rehabilitation or outpatient center. The poll found that 65 percent of respondents would prefer home health care for themselves while recuperating from surgery, while 75 percent would prefer it for themselves if they were in the final stage of a terminal illness.

Home health care is identified as a valuable resource for families

Survey respondents said they are already providing some sort of care for their loved ones: one-in-five poll respondents (19 percent) reported that they are coordinating or assisting with home care for a spouse or elderly family member, and according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 43 percent of those providing care are 50 years of age or older, and 61 percent of family caregivers are women.

According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, the annual economic value of these types of unpaid care giving activities is an astounding $354 billion.

“Home health care assists these familial caregivers in being more effective in managing a loved one’s illness which provides a significant cost and family stress relief benefit,” says Michael Fleming, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Amedisys. “The home health industry can help produce better health outcomes for patients if more people, doctors included, were better educated about health care at home options.”

And, the number of family members caring for sick loved ones is expected to grow: more than one-third (34 percent) of respondents to the Harris poll anticipate that they will have to do so within the next five years. Not surprisingly, respondents felt that home health care is a critical part of the continuum of care. Eighty-eight percent of those polled felt that home health care could be considered a valuable resource for themselves, their family members and future generations.

Home care plays a critical role in managing the age tsunami

According to 2008 figures, approximately 7.6 million Americans receive care at home for a variety of conditions. Recent studies show that the average home care patient has changed considerably during the past few years, with an increase in patients requiring major rehabilitation needs. In fact, a 2007 report from the Centers for Disease Control showed that 80 percent of older adults had at least one chronic condition and two-thirds of all health care costs are spent on chronic disease management. With the graying of the American population – and the clear preference for care at home – the demand for home care and hospice is only expected to grow.

“As the population ages, home health and hospice care is going to become increasingly important as an alternative to hospital or nursing home care. And it’s a service that Americans clearly want,” said Amedisys Chief Executive Officer William Borne. “Over the next ten years, home health care has the potential to save $31 billion dollars in Medicare costs. As we progress into the role of chronic care management, the home health and hospice industry has an important role to play in the future of health care.”

Other survey findings:

Currently, 25 percent of those polled provide some type of financial support to an elderly family member, and 38 percent anticipate having to do so within the next five years.

Regionally, those in the South (43 percent), the West (44 percent), and Northeast (38 percent) are more likely than those in the Midwest (26 percent) to provide financial support within the next five years.

Half (49 percent) of Americans would be angry and an additional one-third (33 percent) would be disappointed if home health care was not an available care option to them.

The Harris Poll National Quorum(R) was conducted by telephone within the United States between August 4 -8, 2010 among 1,006 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, number of adults in the household, and number of phone lines in the household were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

Catching up – more new and notable tech offerings

Catching up – more new and notable tech offerings
Submitted by Laurie Orlov on Tue, 08/10/2010 – 13:50
It’s time for a quick August update of more new and notable tech offerings, from emerging vendors and new offerings from existing vendors – including beta testing. Please let me know about others you know about and not spotted via the Product Snapshots term on this site:

GrandCare Systems (grandcare.com): GrandCare Systems has just launched HomeBase as an entry point “communication, socialization, webcam touch panel for sharing pictures, video, email, calendaring – and some dealers have included a concierge service request. Sensors can be integrated at a later point.” Charles Hillman, CEO.

how in-home caregiver agencies can increase profits

FROM: http://yourhomeservesyou.com/blog/2010/06/11/how-in-home-caregiver-agencies-can-increase-profits/

“Posted by Administrator • 0 comments • Friday, Jun 11, 2010
As a home care agency, you’re probably acutely aware of the increasing needs of our aging population. As demand for your services increases, qualified caregivers will become more difficult to find. Other agencies may offer better compensation, or they will work privately. You need some way to distinguish yourself from other agencies, to offer more value to your clients, and to increase the efficiency of your caregiver employees. Partnering with a GrandCare and home automation companies could provide you all of these things.
There are good reasons you haven’t partnered with any kind of technology companies. You want your customers to spend their money with you, not with somebody else. This would be true if there were only a finite number of customers to be had. In fact, the number of potential customers continues to grow as the population ages. Technology solutions allow you to:
Offer your clients more than your competition.
Care for more clients with the same payroll expenses.
Realize increased profits by offering services that relate directly to the technology.
Reduce liability risks by using technology as an unbiased witness to the quality of your care.
Increase customer retention by allowing your clients to remain in their homes longer than they otherwise could.
Hire and retain better caregivers by offering training, certification and easier record keeping.
Increase the satisfaction of your customers by keeping them connected to family, friends, caregivers, healthcare professionals and the world.
Offer technology that reduces vulnerability to telephone scammers who contact your clients.

use technology to work with healthcare professionals to care for your clients

GrandCare offers the user a simple touch screen interface
Home automation companies can adapt the home to meet the unique and changing needs of your clients in ways that can preserve their independence in a similar fashion to universal design. Automation can cause the lights in the house to flash on and off to notify someone hard of hearing that the doorbell is ringing. Automation can close garage doors if they are forgotten, and won’t forget to turn on security lights in the evening. Automation systems can detect flooding and shut off water if a tub overflows. Automation systems can allow family members or caregivers to verify all the doors and windows are closed from anywhere in the world with an internet or telephone connection.

Tele-wellness systems, such as GrandCare Systems can record wellness readings and verify activity without privacy robbing cameras. One caregiver can rotate from client to client without neglecting others, because programming created for each client’s unique needs will text message, email and call to alert the caregiver to unusual conditions. These could range from wellness measurements outside of normal to not getting out of bed at the usual time. Wellness measurements, caregiver notes, arrival and departure time as recorded by door entries or “clocking in” via the GrandCare System can document caregiver activity as well as client activity such as taking medicine. Calendars for the clients are available to family and caregivers for easy coordination of transportation to doctors or visits with friends. Caregivers can leave notes on the system for other caregivers that are not visible to the client.
Both GrandCare and automation systems can help defend your caregivers against accusations of theft. If valuables are stored in jewelry boxes, dresser drawers or closets, the time and date of them being opened can be recorded for comparison against caregiver activities. If something goes missing from a jewelry box but it wasn’t ever opened when your caregiver is in the home, it could prove innocence without question.
Your benefits and savings depend upon how you and your technology partners learn to benefit each other. They’re used to finding solutions to unique situations and to adapting to their client’s needs.
If you would like to learn more about increasing your profits, contact artdunn@yourhomeservesyou.com. Even if you’re not in the northern California area, there are networks of dealers across the country you would be able to consult with locally.
As always, I’ve promised my blog readers that I’ll completely disclose if I’m writing about a product or service that I or my employer offer. My employer is a GrandCare dealer as well as a dealer for Home Automation Incorporated, an automation system.”

Thanks Your Home Serves You!!!