Press

A collection of resources for senior care providers and their businesses.

By: Mark Lomas  |  Type: Article  |  On: March 08, 2018

Technology is a must for patient engagement, but it isn’t a cure-all

There's no shortage of patient portals, mobile apps and chatbots out there, but too often, health systems haven't deployed them in any meaningful way, expert says.

There's no shortage of patient portals, mobile apps and chatbots out there, but too often, health systems haven't deployed them in any meaningful way, expert says.

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: April 25, 2017

Seniors relying on Airbnb and home sharing: What this means for providers

As baby boomers enter retirement, more of this generation is thinking about senior living situations outside of assisted living.

As baby boomers enter retirement, more of this generation is thinking about senior living situations outside of assisted living communities or relocating to typical retirement destinations like Arizona or Florida.

The fact is, many people want to stay near their hometown and maintain a sense of community once they enter the senior years. According to an AARP survey, 69 percent of respondents indicated they preferred to stay in their home and be near the locales they grew up in. These results make a lot of sense: Seniors want to be near their grandkids, sons and daughters, and lifelong friends, and as the old adage goes, "There's no place like home."

However, living on your own presents a lot of challenges once you age, both personally and financially. That's why a lot of seniors have turned to home sharing and Airbnb to overcome a lot of these obstacles.

"Home sharing helps seniors financially and offers a sense of community."

Mortgage debt and seniors: Looking at the numbers
After the 2008 housing bubble, it became clear that owning your home and maintaining a mortgage was going to require navigating certain obstacles moving forward. When you're a retired senior relying on savings, Social Security, and if you're lucky, retirement funds, the bank account is usually running low for most after the mortgage is paid every month. What's more, AARP highlighted a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Board stating that median mortgage debt for seniors increased by a stunning 82 percent between 2001 and 2011.

Home sharing: A new solution for senior living
Because of these skyrocketing costs, a lot of seniors are renting out rooms, or in some cases, their whole homes, on Airbnb and other home-sharing sites to pay the bills and still stay in their homes. In fact, Airbnb even put out a report showing that older Americans have earned nearly $750 million from relying on services through Airbnb, and seniors over 60 are the fastest-growing demographic for the company.

Others are turning to local shared housing programs that now exist in more than 20 states, according to Bankrate. Not only do these programs help reduce rent and mortgage payments, but they also curb loneliness and allow seniors to age in place: A win-win situation all around.

What providers need to know
As a home health provider, it is important to be even more mindful of these housing trends as baby boomers continue to enter retirement. It's likely that as home-sharing technology becomes more advanced and companies like Airbnb become the norm, more seniors will be looking to these types of arrangements as a long-term housing solution. 

With your patients likely living with other seniors or in home-sharing situations, you will need to be understanding of their living arrangements. Schedules might change and your visits might need to be held in these type of environments moving forward.

The home health sector is also becoming increasingly tech-friendly to keep up with these demands, so look to apps to help you organize your appointments and better communicate with patients who may be utilizing home-sharing services.

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: February 22, 2017

Marketing on a tight budget for home health care providers

Being more active on social media, attending conferences and leveraging Carelike's CareMatch technology can go a long way to improving your marketing campaign and boosting your referral network and client base.

As a home health care provider, you know the importance of networking and marketing yourself to continually find new clients. But carving out the time and money from your already thinly stretched calendars and budgets can make these crucial tasks difficult or even impossible.

However, with the right focus on a streamlined, cost-effective strategy, you can launch a robust marketing campaign with little money and minimal time.

Consider these simple yet valuable techniques for marketing your home health care business on even the smallest budget:

Boost your online presence

The internet has been a boon to small organizations and self-employed individuals who want to expand their reach and build their brand. However, it is surprising that many home health care providers will spend a substantial amount of money on traditional printed marketing materials, such as brochures and business cards, while neglecting their online presence.

"Your online presence reaches a larger audience than traditional printed materials."

Improving your online presence, position and reputation will help you reach a wider audience, and at a fraction of the cost and time of print marketing. Social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, offer you an open channel to upload and interact with current and prospective clients.

Along with social media, online review site and local business apps like Yelp and Angie's List are a great way for people to locate new services. Ensure that your home health care operation is listed in these places and that your contact information is available and accurate. These sites will also house feedback from customers voicing their satisfaction or lack thereof. While it's okay to reply to posts about your services, remember to keep things civil and professional, since this information will be available for all to see.

You can use these resources to upload insightful information about the industry, build up your referral base and keep your clients and peers updated on current success stories.

Attend conferences and local community events

Locating and attending conferences and conventions for home health care providers broadens your professional network. Forging connections at these events creates new referral channels and can even substantially expand your social media following if you leverage these interactions correctly.

From the National Association for Home Care and Hospice to the Home Care Association of America or the American Association for Homecare, there are plenty of organizations of all sizes that host conferences and provide numerous opportunities throughout the year to engage in networking. Even organizations like your town's Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce will host breakfasts, luncheons or cocktail hours to gather local small businesses.

Leverage CareMatch technology

Having access to an expansive nationwide network of families and seniors seeking care providers can be a great advantage to expanding your operations. With more than 350,000 senior care options available in the database, Carelike's CareMatch search capabilities let you gather better qualified leads while also letting care-seekers see your detailed profile highlighting your qualifications and experience.

Additionally, Carelike is in partnership with dozens of organizations that are looking to the Carelike directory to make referral recommendations.  Organizations range from patient advocacy groups like the Alzheimer's Association, to EAP programs, to hospital systems like the Mayo Clinic, health insurance companies, discharge planning software companies, and many more.  When you populate your business information with Carelike, you are not only getting exposure on Carelike.com and with their CareMatch technology but you also get exposure to thousands of professionals making referral recommendations based off of the information you provided Carelike.

Being more active on social media, attending conferences and leveraging Carelike's CareMatch technology can go a long way to improving your marketing campaign and boosting your referral network and client base. 

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: November 16, 2016

Uber used as transportation for home health providers

The terms "Uber" and "healthcare" have been used together a lot in the news lately, and it's no wonder.

Ride-sharing apps like Uber have taken over a considerable share of the transportation market in the past several years, especially in cities. Though the benefits of grabbing a ride from your phone are obvious for the general public, many businesses in the private sector are beginning to capitalize on the affordability and ease of use with Uber, including the healthcare sector.

Paving the way
Circulation, a transportation platform based in Boston, is now setting up a platform with health systems to arrange rides with Uber's application programing interface. Many experts working within Circulation believe this model has huge potential, as it could provide a reliable form of transportation for home health workers. It also works on demand to deliver high-quality healthcare workers to patients suffering from non-emergency medical issues safely and accurately. According to Home Healthcare News, John Brownstein, Circulation's co-founder, Harvard Medical School professor and a health care adviser to Uber, Circulation is already looking toward the future.

"That would be the next phase of this platform," he said. Brownstein went on to explain that Circulation was "designed with seniors in mind … there's definitely an opportunity to use Circulation for on-demand home health services." 

 

Apps like Uber could become a useful tool in the home health industry soon.Apps like Uber could become a useful tool in the home health industry soon.

Working with hospitals and providers to use Uber for home healthcare could indeed help many seniors suffering from cognitive issues, such as dementia and Alzheimer's. These patients might feel more comfortable seeing a medical professional in their own homes. The same could be true for homebound seniors with physical impairments, such as those who rely on a cane or wheelchair to get to their appointments.

Is an 'Uber for healthcare' on the rise?
The terms "Uber" and "healthcare" have been used together a lot in the news lately, and it's no wonder. After all, on-demand services are incredibly easy to use and convenient, which is not the case for healthcare in many ways. Wait times to see a healthcare professional are rising, and many people want the personal connection with providers that quick appointments don't always allow. It would seem that an "Uber for healthcare" would solve many of these issues.

Still, there are some professionals in health tech who are wary about on-demand health services. In a recent TechCrunch article, the argument is that healthcare is a multi-faceted need for consumers and can't be solved in the one-time transaction, such as a ride to the airport. Most people, the author argues, value the doctor-patient relationship above anything else, which can be hard to nail down in an on-demand experience.

However, that's not to say that Uber can't be a great stand-alone tool for health systems to use for homebound seniors or patients with cognitive decline. Brownstein also spoke with the Boston Globe about a project he led last year called UberHEALTH, which successfully helped transport medical professionals in Boston and 35 other cities to administer more than 2,000 flu shots. In a survey given to those who participated in the program, 78 percent said that the delivery of the vaccine was crucial in deciding to be part of the platform.

While it's still unclear whether or not Uber will turn into a fixed part of the healthcare system, there are signs that it could become more common in the home health sector in the future. 

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By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Press Release  |  On: November 15, 2016

Carelike, LLC. leads change in senior care referral industry

Carelike differentiates from its competitors by giving care seekers access and transparency to all providers in their area, not just those who pay for a profile. Carelike displays all available information, truly giving families the power of choice and the ability to make informed decisions.

Carelike, LLC. leads change in senior care referral industry

Media contact:
Stephanie F. Jackson
Carelike, LLC.
Tele: (404) 250-8370

ATLANTA, GA. (November 15, 2016) -- As many Americans (especially baby boomers) are discovering, finding the perfect care service for a senior loved one is challenging. Per data from a 2015 AARP report, approximately 43.5 million adults provided unpaid elder care, mainly to relatives. This number only stands to grow as baby boomers age, and Carelike has come up with a solution.

With most senior-placement companies, care seekers use online or call-in services to find an assisted living community or home health aide for their loved one. However, they only get information from a small, select number of providers who have a contract to be listed on that referral company's website. This means care seekers miss out on many providers who might more closely fit their needs, have more esteemed credentials or elicited better patient reviews.

The senior care referral industry has been around for years, and so has Carelike (previously SNAPforSeniors). The organization is well-connected and has the experience and expertise required to drive a much-needed change to the industry. Their business model has always put the care-seeker first. Everyone who is a licensed senior care professional - not just those who "pay to play" - shows up in Carelike's comprehensive database of providers. This is because Carelike pulls from 400 different sources to gather data on senior and post-acute care providers. The organization then goes to great lengths to clean, filter and augment the data to give care seekers the most up-to-date and accurate picture of each provider.

This methodology has made Carelike the preferred partner for organizations who help consumers find care, which include renowned health organizations, health insurance companies, care management companies, EAPs and patient advocacy groups, including the Alzheimer's Association.

If you haven't heard of Carelike, it may be because the company has always worked behind the scenes providing well-known, reputable organizations with data. Now that this company aims to appeal to consumer care seekers, Carelike will share providers' information with not only organizations who license the data but with family members looking for senior services through their new consumer search site.

Carelike is the only online senior listing company that provides that type of exposure for providers - to both consumers and professional care-seekers at organizations who license the data. Meanwhile, Carelike differentiates from its competitors by giving care seekers access and transparency to all providers in their area, not just those who pay for a profile. Carelike displays all available information, truly giving families the power of choice and the ability to make informed decisions. Discover the possibilities for yourself at CareLike.com.

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By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Blog  |  On: February 16, 2016

What does the care community of the future look like?

Care communities have come a long way in delivering quality health and wellness services to seniors. Discover what the future holds for retirees.

Care communities have come a long way in delivering quality health and wellness services to seniors. Even the term "nursing home" has been replaced with the more appropriate "senior living" or "care community." As technology progresses and doctors discover more about senior well-being, the health care industry has followed suit and adapted care communities to fit these changing needs. Here is what health care professionals can expect for the future of these communities:

"The U.S. will be home to 80 million seniors by 2050."

Expect an influx of care communities
Baby boomers are entering the retirement age at a growing speed, and older adults are living longer than ever. According to a U.S. Census Bureau report, the country was home to 44 million adults over the age of 65 in 2014, and experts estimated that number will climb to over 80 million by 2050. As such, the population will become increasingly reliant on senior health care services in the next few decades, and the only way to accommodate this development is to expand the number of care communities.

Time magazine explained that building more care communities may be a good move for the economy. Citing arguments from Keynesian economists, Time noted that this endeavor can open up a plethora of job opportunities and serve as a way to provide more affordable senior care. In turn, this takes a lot of pressure off families who would otherwise struggle financially to provide their senior loved ones with adequate care.

Care communities will cater to specific needs
Not only will care communities become more widely available, but options in types of care and amenities will also be more abundant, according to Andrew Carle, the founding director of George Mason University's Senior Housing Administration.

"Retirees want more choices," Carle told U.S. News & World Report. "When you have 78 million baby boomers, they have a lot of expectations with retirement."

There are several current and emerging opportunities that accommodate the unique-need trend. For instance, university-based retirement care communities grant residents access to campus art exhibits, theatrical performances and other events. Meanwhile, other care communities indulge specific interests, such as aviation, sports and astronomy. In fact, U.S. News highlighted a Chiefland, Florida, community where retirees enjoy homes with built-in telescopes where they can stargaze with neighbors.

Retirees will have access to more amenities
Along the same lines, traditional senior living arrangements will likely offer more amenities for retirees' diverse interests. Some care communities come with an expensive price tag. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a month's rent for a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living location can run residents up $3,293 on average. As such, these individuals want more bang for their buck, and care communities are rising to this demand.

Retirees can expect to see more cultural events, outdoor walking paths, recreation centers and social activities. Not only do these extra perks entice potential residents, but they can boost their well-being. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that participating in physical activities like exercising (or working out at the care community's gym) may help seniors remain mobile. The researchers determined that retirees who stayed active were more likely than sedentary individuals to stave off functional limitations.

 

Senior woman swimming in pool.Care communities will like have high-quality amenities.

Greater integration of technology
Networked/online/digital technology is working its way into just about every facet of life, from elementary schools to company offices, and care communities are no exception to this trend. Integrating technology into these spaces may help retirees remain more independent and live a higher quality of life. In 2011, Dr. Judah L. Ronch of the Erickson School of Aging at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, worked with students and staff to determine exactly what this type of technology would look like.

Writing for Long Term Living, Ronch explained that technology would take over certain tasks to free up care community workers. In turn, these health care professionals could offer their services in instances that require a more human approach. Meanwhile, cyber devices would give residents more control over their health management, encourage social interactions and allow for greater independence. Essentially, they predicted that technology will facilitate already-established trends.

It's important for health care professionals to remain aware of expectations for the future of care communities, as this knowledge will help them prepare for what lies ahead.

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