How Can Technology Help Solve Work Shortage in Senior Care?

doctor using laptop with elderly patient

As the population continues to age, they will require more staff to care for them, both in senior living facilities and at home. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the demand for aids to grow by 36% by 2028. Even now, the senior care industry faces challenges with hiring and retention. Annual turnover can be 40-75%, which may cost organizations thousands of dollars to replace lost staff.

In addition to attracting younger, tech-savvy workers, technology-enabled facilities and organizations enable employees with tools to help with efficiency and productivity, which is especially valuable during the current crisis. As technology continues to advance, even the most basic tools can increase caregiver satisfaction and achieve a positive impact for both staff and patients.

Automation tools are designed to save time, streamline the workflow, and even improve morale. With technologies like smart speakers and secure mobile devices, care staff can better manage their workload and productivity, giving them more time and energy to provide direct care to their patients.

Videoconferencing tools can help caregivers coordinate care and share information across various locations. These tools can also enable care teams and residents to have regular face-to-face meetings with family members and loved ones, which is especially helpful during the current health crisis.

More advanced technologies that use passive sensors, smart wearables, and AI-powered analytics can help staff monitor residents’ safety, security, health, and wellness. For example, VitalCare, a platform from VitalTech, can detect falls, collect vitals for health alerts, activate an alarm using voice, track activities of daily living, and more. Platforms like this can recognize normal behavior patterns and detect changes that may indicate health issues.

Similarly, sensors to monitor patients’ movements can help identify abnormal activities, such as staying bed for too long or spending too much time in the bathroom.

As more technologies become available, the opportunity increases for pulling together different features across multiple systems. Aiva Health is already putting this to use with a dashboard that features workflow and videoconferencing tools as well as systems that handle motion sensors, medication compliance, meal menus, activity calendars, daily COVID-19 check-ins, and more.

Automated solutions make it easier for caregivers to focus their attention on residents who need help and proactively respond to potentially serious conditions. These benefits are becoming more and more necessary.

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