Senior care facilities across the country are demanding better and more cost-effective technologies to care for the elderly. There’s always a new sensor, wearable device, or notification system promising to make caregiving easier. Technology startups have recognized this market potential and are flooding the industry with new gadgets and apps every day. For those caregivers, children, and spouses actually looking after seniors, a rapidly changing landscape of new products makes it difficult to keep up. Which ones really work? Which ones are actually available and on the market today? Which ones are easy to use? This can result in feelings of “technology fatigue” and may actually contribute to lower quality care.
Over the last 50 years, senior living facilities have been completely transformed by technology. In fact, care for elders wasn’t even included in Social Security until 1965. This new coverage allowed seniors to leave “poorhouses” and move into new, albeit highly unregulated, privatized care facilities. In 1968 new regulations required skilled nursing facilities to provide 24 hour nursing services, meet building codes, and care standards for all residents. Over the next nearly 50 years artificial hearts, the Internet, computers, and advances in the early detection and treatment of chronic illnesses meant that people were living longer, healthier lives and wanted to remain at home for as long as possible. These conditions created the perfect environment for the aging technology sector to rise.
Because senior care facilities are often late adopters of new technology, by the time staff have been trained on a new system it could already be obsolete or outdated. Why learn the ins-and-outs of a nurse call system when a newer and better one will be available in a matter of months? In addition, frustrations caused by poorly-implemented (and thus malfunctioning) technologies may cause employees to revert to less sophisticated methods of caring for patients.
The problem isn’t going away anytime soon. With the Baby Boomer generation reaching retirement age, the demand for better, more effective technologies to streamline eldercare continues to grow. RCare, an innovative nurse call and alert management company based in Rochester, NY, is one organization working to solve this problem. By creating high-quality devices that are designed to expand and seamlessly integrate with existing technologies, RCare brings peace of mind and efficiency to senior housing providers everywhere.
At the Eastern Star Masonic Retirement Community in Denver, Colorado, Cora Graves explained that “the RCare system never fails to let me know what is going on with my residents, and that lets me sleep at night.”
Mr. Larry Lilo, the Executive Director of the facility, agrees. “When we began evaluating systems two major considerations were key: integration with our existing systems, and forward thinking architecture allowing for future expansion. The RCare system…[has] time and again validated our decision.”