New Tech Solutions

By on May 20, 2021 in Senior Living

Editor’s note: This article from Yardi vice president of senior living, Ray Elliott, originally ran in McKnight’s Senior Living.

About 90% of seniors intend to remain in their current homes for the next five to 10 years, according to Aging in Place, a seniors and family members resources hub. At the same time, only 43% of seniors over 70 consider it “very easy” to live independently. One of every 5 Americans will be 65 and older by 2030, the U.S Census Bureau reports. These trends suggest that demand for services associated with aging in place will accelerate steadily in the years ahead.

Technology as a home care tool

Residents and family members opting for home care expect many of the same services and resources that are available from a community. And providers’ home care tasks mirror those executed at a senior living community, such as generating care plans to ensure appropriate treatment, avoiding scheduling conflicts, overseeing remote care delivery with real-time reports, enabling mobile tools for point-of-care charting, and minimizing risk with regulatory compliance.

Ray Elliott, vice president of senior Living, Yardi

Fortunately, senior living management technology has advanced over the last several years to meet many home care challenges. As provider Comfort Seekers notes, “Technology is an amazing game-changer for helping seniors remain independent, safe and happy in their homes.”

Toward that end, Yardi dedicates significant research and development to advancing technology that benefits providers, residents and family members. Listening to our clients and monitoring industry trends gives our senior living team an appreciation of what it takes to transfer a senior living community’s resources to the home environment.

That input led to the development of Yardi At Home Care, a software solution that makes it easy to schedule, manage and bill for non-medical home care services. Its features include convenient electronic charting, direct transmission of task data to the back office for simplified billing and easy access to client records. It also elevates budgeting, oversight and compliance with detailed analytics and instant access to financial data.

As I said in introducing the solution in April 2020, At Home Care extends the Yardi Senior Living Suite, our platform for senior living care management, across the continuum of care and closes a service gap. It gives our clients one integrated system for managing care for community residents and their at-home clients.

Innovations move the industry forward

Technology assumed even more importance in senior care with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Laurie M. Orlov, principal analyst for market research source Aging and Health Technology Watch, observes, “Technologies like Zoom, FaceTime and more … suddenly became the connective tissue that linked families together and enabled business groups to meet,” including those involved in home care.

She continues, “The pandemic catalyzed simultaneous innovation efforts on multiple fronts – many of the initiatives … will become fixtures within the emerging remote care technology ecosystem.”

Innovations making their way to the marketplace include remotely controlled digital pill dispensers that help family members track medication ingestion; personal help buttons worn by elders that can distinguish between a fall and other movement; and multipurpose systems connected to the internet that track oxygen levels, blood pressure and other medical measures while displaying diets, exercises and discharge plans. Such systems also provide a platform for games, music, news, video chat with family members and other diversions.

For our part, Yardi executed several initiatives in addition to Yardi At Home Care that help keep seniors well cared for and their providers able to execute their tasks with minimal disruption. Over the past year, for example, we adopted an interoperability partner that promotes safer clinical care transitions and a skilled nursing platform that streamlines charting and automates assessments. We also unveiled a scheduling and tracking solution that helps staff, residents and families stay connected. One senior housing client documented a twelvefold shortening of its lead response time with our customer relationship management solution.

We have additional solutions in the pipeline that we’ll reveal as they become available. We’ll also welcome opportunities to join clients in new initiatives for making recordkeeping, information-sharing and other elements of senior care even more efficient while increasing staff productivity, care plan accuracy and compliance.