A wide variety of problems currently plague senior care and the nursing home industry both in the United States and worldwide. From a lack of funds to a growing aging population and overworked care workers and no shortage of disturbing stories of abuse and neglect, there are plenty of hurdles for the nursing home industry to overcome.
But, the increased use of technology and data can aid nursing homes and care facilities and afford them the opportunity to better care for the world’s elderly population.
Workplace automation can alleviate overworked caregivers and give them more time to take care of patients with a human touch. Workplace turnover in the elderly care industry is sky high, some estimates putting it over 40% nationwide. So, giving care workers some relief is a viable and necessary way to retain qualified nurses and staff.
This automation can take the form of replacing menial physical tasks and increasing work schedule optimization. Utilizing data to better schedule employees could also be a huge boon to the industry, as irregular hours can wreak havoc on an individual’s sleeping patterns.
Furthermore, touch screen technology and improved healthcare apps can also improve the standard of living of those in nursing homes. By streamlining tasks through eliminating clicks can be of great value to those giving care. Likewise, an increase in technology literacy in patients can have the benefit of being able to make use of a wide array of healthcare phone apps available to smartphone users. The consolidation of healthcare data can provide better information to nurses and caregivers.
There are detractors who argue that the increased use of technology may risk taking the human element out of health and senior care. Surely, a balance will have to be struck to keep the human to human connection that is vital to care, while using technology as a complement that can allow caregivers more time and information to provide better care to nursing home and assisted living facility residents.
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