The relationship between a Caregiver and patient is unlike any other. Periods of angst and moments of dependency can boil down to bits of communication on any given day. Minutes sometimes turn into hours. Years occasionally go quicker than months. Rarely is there an opportunity to change this relationship as it relates to needs of the Caregivers and demands for patients.
In fact, research by Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business found that caregivers reported spending an average 88 hours per month on caregiving activities in addition to the 69% that work full-time and 77% that have children in their household. Whether provided by family or health care professionals, caregivers everywhere are facing tougher circumstances as the request for home care grows higher each year.
What’s missing between those overstretched caregivers, their daily schedules of care, and the demands from a rising number of patients is clear: a technology that allows caregivers to deliver better care more efficiently while respecting the patient’s right to socialize, retain a personal level of freedom, and experience moments of independence.
The 2015 report “Family Matters In Caregiving and Technology Adoption”, highlighted a typical situation where communication barriers, misunderstandings, and misaligned needs were responsible for the low adoption rate of technology in healthcare. Take this father-daughter story for example;
“In an interview, a daughter described grocery shopping online as a “wonderful service. However, when speaking with her father, he expressed that he did not want to use it because going to the grocery store was an opportunity for her father to get out of the house. It offered him both freedom and choice. ”
— Family Matters In Caregiving and Technology Adoption, April 2015
In some cases, like this one, a narrowed view on the use of technology deprives the aging population from experiencing enriched social interactions. All too often, technologies offering only health and safety monitoring products ignore the potential for benefits within a caregiving relationship. This is a significant reason why loneliness has become the number one predictor of functional decline and death in adults age 60+.
Bottom line; caregivers need to meet the practical reality of their duties each day, but also utilize the technology made available to improve the effectiveness of their caregiving while enhancing the lifestyle of their patients.
As the rate of home care agencies continue to rise and a growing elderly population moves further away from hospitals and nursing homes, the demand for affordable and reliable care is at an all time high. Thus, innovators like Loon Medical, a progressive medical products developer in Southeastern Connecticut, are asking themselves:
“How can we make Caregiving more efficient for the caregiver, less stressful for the patient, help reduce hospital readmissions, and make the process more affordable for the healthcare industry?”.