Our society is aging, with the number of individuals 65 and older in the United States projected to double over the next 30 years. By 2040, they will make up 20 percent of our population. These growing demographics make senior care a lucrative industry, and it’s also fueling an increased focus on how we can best use advanced technology and new developments in artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance the continuum of care available to this expanding population right in their own homes.
Telehealth, remote patient monitoring (RPM) and other AI tools were slowly beginning to come on board back in 2018 and 2019, then the pandemic hit and accelerated that progress. These technologies have evolved over the past few years at a very rapid pace. A big positive of those advancements is that we’re seeing early intervention to signs and symptom management that reduces the number of hospitalizations each year.
Protecting clients is a big part of the value proposition in the in-home senior care industry, which must continue to look for opportunities to provide such technologies that, together with trusted caregivers, can be used to benefit clients and franchisees. Always Best Care has been an early adopter of technology solutions that help us raise the standard of care we deliver and enhance our clients’ quality of life.
By intertwining Special Solutions services with our personal care platform, we can offer additional support to clients and families. This suite of resources provides franchise owners and their teams with care services that supply daily social interaction or clinical insight into a client’s healthcare right from their home. Locations using our complete Special Solutions platform have achieved reduced hospitalizations and increased individual case hours. They have also seen positive growth of referral sources who acknowledge the value of predictive analytics.
A technology safety net
One of the most exciting developments in the industry is audio-based AI technology developed specifically for in-home non-medical care environments. It sets up a 24/7 safety net that analyzes physical, cognitive and emotional events and trends around-the-clock, providing data-based insights and recommendations on the health and safety of clients. The Sensi 24/7 AI Virtual Care Agent that Always Best Care uses can detect falls, other physical distress and calls for help and can identify situations such as cognitive decline, early signs of infection, difficulty performing a task, risk of medication errors and even possible UTIs.
RPM telehealth capabilities is another solution providing a new level of clinical oversight as patients are discharged into home care environments. It’s an important part of a successful transitional care program to promote the safe and timely passage of patients between levels of health care and across care settings.
Always Best Care’s RPM solution consistently monitors a patient’s vital statistics, such as blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, oxygen levels and more, and delivers them to healthcare providers in real-time through an innovative RPM Cloud Platform. A 24/7 clinical call center monitors this information and proactively intervenes to keep these seniors healthy, helping to turn episodic healthcare into preventative healthcare.
Other technology tools now available include medical alert systems and computerized balance assessments that present an objective, accurate, and reliable fall risk assessment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 million elderly people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries annually, while 800,000 patients are ultimately hospitalized. Always Best Care’s Fall Risk Assessment Program improves the safety of seniors in their homes and will potentially reduce the risk of falling and serious injury.
A benefit for employees as well
Embracing technology can also help with recruiting and retention in the senior care industry. Equipping caregivers with the most up-to-date tools available will enhance their confidence and support the important work they are doing. It’s also imperative for the home office to interface with those caregivers in the field more often, opening up the communication lines and letting them know they are doing a great job. Any technological resources we can use to increase connection is going to help with today’s limited caregiver pool.
Always Best Care’s commitment to enhancing the continuum of care we provide has resulted in consecutive years of double-digit sales growth and continued franchise development momentum. In 2023, the brand signed an agreement with new franchisees in Calgary, Alberta, as well as opened new offices in Kingwood, Texas. Established operators grew their territories in Ohio, Utah, Texas and Massachusetts, while new franchisees joined the system as owners of offices in Charlotte and Wake Forest, North Carolina.
Franchise opportunities are available in many new territories for individuals interested in leveraging Always Best Care’s clear strategy and proven track record for delivering affordable, dependable service to seniors in their local areas. Markets open for development include key cities in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Indiana, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Southern California, Oregon and Washington state. For more information on available territories and franchising with Always Best Care, contact Sean Hart at [email protected], call 916-545-2786 or visit alwaysbestcare.com/franchising.
Senior vice president of area operations for Always Best Care Senior Services, Sheila Davis is a Certified Home and Health Care Executive and has experience spanning over 30 years that includes regulatory, compliance and administrative aspects of the home health, pediatric home health and therapy, community care, private duty nursing and personal assisting services. Founded in 1996, Always Best Care is one of the nation’s leading providers of non-medical in-home care and assisted living referral services, with skilled home health care in limited markets. The company delivers its services through an international network of more than 225 independently owned and operated franchise territories throughout the United States and Canada.