Future of Caregiving is Here

Written by Joe Cellucci, Founder & CEO, Xverity, Inc.

Support for care-dependent older adults has basically remained unchanged and largely disjointed for generations. The usual care circle has included a physician who diagnoses and prescribes medications and unpaid family member(s), possibly supplemented with professional home health and social care aides who help with daily needs and routine tasks. Traditionally, there has been little or no communication among them often resulting in confusion and conflicting care protocols.

Although the principal players haven’t changed, the conventional caregiving model is being challenged by the convergence of unprecedented forces building to a perfect storm:

  • Aging population – 76 million Baby Boomers will be older than 65 by 2030 and older Americans will make up 21% of the population.
  • Multi-morbidities – Nearly 80% of Medicare beneficiaries have at least 2 chronic conditions, more than 60% have at least 3 and estimates are that 26% of the US population will be living with multiple chronic conditions by 2030.
  • Aging in place – 76% of Americans age 50 and older prefer to remain in their current residence and 77% would like to stay in their community as long as possible.
  • Rising health care costs – Medical expenses for the elderly more than double between the ages of 70 and 90, exceeding $25,000 annually for a person in his or her 90s based on Medicare data.
  • Families are half the size they were 50 years ago, and adult children are employed, making caregiving difficult. In addition, nearly half of adults live, on average, 700 miles from family.
  • Looming caregiver crisis – Experts project that by 2030 there will be only 4 potential caregivers available for each person 80 or older, down from a high of more than 7 in 2010.

The fallout from these forces has placed a heavy burden on the historically disconnected, inefficient US healthcare system, creating a need and opportunity for innovation. In response, rapidly emerging assistive technologies deployed within the hospital and beyond its walls are now enabling healthcare providers to assure older patients with chronic conditions an uninterrupted, efficient continuum of quality care at lower costs.  The new model also emphasizes the criticality of engaging and empowering the caregiver, the care recipient and other members of the care circle.

This scenario illustrates the utopian vision for digital home care: Charlotte Wilson, 70, a tech-savvy diabetic who lives alone in her “smart” home, is awakened each morning by a housekeeping robot when it detects that Charlotte is in her lightest sleep phase.  She takes her 3-D printed medication containing all the drugs prescribed for the day; puts on biofeedback clothing made of fabric that continually monitors her vital signs and moods, indexes her overall health well-being, and enables her to move about without a walker; beams her three grandchildren into her home for a quick visit using holographic technology, and rides to her doctor’s appointment in an autonomous vehicle available on demand. Charlotte is digitally connected to an interactive, personalized ecosystem that anticipates and adapts to her needs, is accessible on demand 24/7, and is designed to assure safety, security and peace of mind for her and for the members of her caregiving circle. Sensors are continually monitoring her for problems with balance, signs of depression or prolonged periods of loneliness so that appropriate remedies can be dispatched.

Plausible?  Absolutely! From my vantage point as a serial entrepreneur in solutions technology and founder of Xverity, Inc., a technology-enabled caregiving services company, I believe it’s  conceivable that under the right circumstances, AI and robotics will make it possible to provide care for seniors without a human even being present.

At Xverity, we’ve created CAREGIVERASSIST SM   , a high-tech/high-touch caregiving ecosystem to support caregivers and care recipients. Our primary goals are to help relieve some of the stress caregivers experience, especially those who hold full time jobs, and avoid the feelings of isolation and dependency that lead to bouts of depression among older adults. Addressing the social determinants of health is at the core of our solution for continuous, quality caregiving.

Subscribers access the CAREGIVERASSIST  Services Hub built on a SaaS platform for on-demand, direct access to an array of needed services such as transportation, home delivery of prepared meals and groceries, home maintenance and repair, medication alerts and refills, in-home monitoring and communication devices and a host of other social services to keep the care recipient engaged, comfortable, safe and secure with dignity.  Also available is a prepaid card to pay for transactions, keep track of purchases made through the Hub and mitigate fraud risks by people who prey on older adults.  A monthly statement of transactions is a useful record of eligible expenses reimbursable under Medicare. Recognizing the value of non-clinical services, CMS now offers social determinants of health benefits such as meal delivery, rides to the grocery store, or a service that would make a care-dependent older adult’s home environment more conducive to healthy living.

For added peace of mind in the event of a question or a need for an intervention, CAREGIVERASSIST  provides 24/7 access by voice, web or text to a Help Center staffed by trained advisors.

The Internet of Things Genie is out of the bottle, allowing communication pathways between devices, timely sharing of actionable data and remote command and control of multiple diagnostic, monitoring and telemedicine treatment systems.  Much of the futuristic technology needed to help reduce hospital readmissions and avoid unnecessary visits to the ER by older adults already exists and is being applied at an accelerated rate in virtually every area of caregiving for adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

Xverity Launches CaregiverAssistSM for Employer and Home Care Markets Tech-enabled solution creates 24/7 “caregiver presence”

Bethlehem, PA – Xverity, Inc., a technology-enabled caregiving services company, today announced the launch of CAREGIVERASSISTSM, a nationwide social ecosystem designed to support caregivers and provide safety, security and peace of mind for care recipients.

CAREGIVERASSIST is available in two versions: one for the employee market to help relieve the stress of juggling dual responsibilities as caregiver and employee, the second for the home care industry  In both cases, CAREGIVERASSIST creates a 24/7 “caregiver presence” when the paid home care professional or unpaid family caregiver is not with the care recipient.  A key component of CaregiverAssist is an Advocacy Center staffed by trained personnel to answer questions and, when appropriate, refer the caller to other CaregiverAssist resources.

Joe Cellucci, Xverity founder and CEO, said that CAREGIVERASSIST is the first high-touch/high-tech services solution for employers dealing with 20% productivity losses, higher health benefits costs, and 32% voluntary terminations among employee caregivers, and for home care companies trying to balance increased efficiency with a positive customer experience. A cancer survivor and only-child caregiver for his mother, Cellucci transformed a technology platform used by thousands of chronically ill outpatients in the UK.  “Here in the US, we spoke with HR professionals about gaps in corporate-sponsored programs to support employee caregivers.  And we reached out to our seven-member Innovation Advisory Board for their expert input and reaction to the design of CaregiverAssist.  For the home care market, we polled our home care network to learn about caregiving from their perspective as managers of professional caregivers,” Cellucci said.

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