Can Tech Prevent Home Care Problems?
Nobody’s perfect, but when it comes to caring for others, we must strive for perfection. As an industry, home care certainly has its share of problems, some extremely serious. But could we solve them?
At the lower (but still often very serious) end of the scale, it’s poor communication, incorrect information, tardiness of Carers and basic mistakes. At the higher end, it’s fraud, criminal activity and serious neglect. It’s sad, but true. We’ve all likely heard some horror stories.
Technology can help prevent home care problems. Opportunities exist.
Let’s take a look at the common problems and think about how the smartest technology available could help prevent those issues, which ultimately improves home care for all well-intentioned participants.
1) Daily Info
When it comes to home care, information matters. Paper details can be lost, illegible, not recorded and can’t easily be shared with loved ones. Even recording critical daily information is often a forgotten step, without technology to ‘prompt us’. Mobile and online processes can solve this. Instead of writing in books, we can record in mobile apps.
Data can be privately and securely stored online (yes, the mystical ‘cloud’) and shared with family via notifications. We can assess health trends and needs, and quickly adjust care plans. Tech to the rescue!
Tardiness is one of the home care problems that clients usually complain about most, especially when they’re on a strict schedule i.e. medication, bath, eating schedule, doctors appointments. It can cause inconvenience and can aggravate the client and also, their families.
Yet things sometimes happen. When a carer is scheduled and running late (and maybe driving), it may be challenging to find time for calls to head offices or family care coordinators. If ‘checked-in’ and on their way though, a Carer’s phone could automatically notify the family (via map-time calculations) and send an updated ETA when running late. It happens everyday – logistics, food delivery, taxi services and more.
3) Our Privacy
Privacy matters. It’s our right. Some people have concerns about privacy in the digital age. That’s natural. Yet the beautiful thing about technology is systems can be designed to only share details with certain people, at certain times, based on certain triggers. For example, a new Carer doesn’t need to know an exact home address until hours before they’re due. This increases privacy and safety for everyone.
Another in-home care problem disinterest or boredom is generally known for everyone, most notably if that someone is sick or incapable of doing their usual daily activities. It can be frustrating and almost always leads to depression. A home carer in this situation might find it discouraging, especially when she/he is doing everything they can.
See this read on Home Care Entertainment. Technology can help!
5) The Carer
Carers can vary. Some are highly experienced and may go above and beyond the basic tasks, but some can be more focused and only do the basic tasks. It can be really frustrating for a client when one caregiver is exceptional, then the next under-performs for them. With online and in-app video introductions, quality ratings and reviews, this problem is minimised. People have to be accountable. Technology = transparency.
6) Poor Matching
Abuse by both the home carer and / or a client can be heartbreaking, disappointing, and an in-home care problem that’s not easy to solve.
Sometimes a home carer and client are not the perfect match for each other and this can be unpleasant and could lead to depression, anger, lashing out, or worst, verbal and vocal disagreements may eventuate.
With a super-amazing matching system like Kynd offers, technology can help put the right people together, based on individual needs, interests, personality, experience, ratings, reviews and more. It’s all in a simple mobile app. With such technology, everyone can avoid such problems.
Lack of communication, a problem everywhere, can throw off a great balance between the client and the personal home carer. Some home carers expect the work to be basic care, only to be given so much more. The same goes for the client who might be expecting a certain kind of care that the home carer is not specifically hired or ready for.
Language barriers, another home care problem, can be troublesome and can hinder a great working relationship with both parties. If the home carer is from another country, setting expectations with them around cleaning, cooking and overall hygiene may also be problematic.
Technology can help avoid this. Task lists can help set expectations. Reviews can help ensure accountability. Ultimately, everyone wins.
8) Illegal Activity
Sadly there’s endless stories of illegal activity within aged care. More sadly, a lack of smart technology means it continues. Yet by introducing mobile technology, we have the power to help minimise such activity.
Think about it… sophisticated background, security, online and social screening checks, knowing who arrived at homes and when, by keeping information protected and by involving more family. Technology helps.
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Ultimately, our world is changing and technology can solve problems.