Founder @ NowSourcing. Contributor @ Hackernoon, Advisor @GoogleSmallBiz, Podcaster, infographics
One thing the pandemic has highlighted is the necessity of quality nursing home care. While 25% of US coronavirus deaths occurred in nursing homes, the quality of the institution impacts results dramatically: 4-5 star nursing homes have 94% lower risk than their 1 star peers.
When the pandemic ends, those disparities will remain. As the population of America ages, nursing homes will house more people than ever in the coming years.
Despite growing demand, nursing homes remain unpopular. Only 19% of Americans say nursing homes make seniors better off. Seniors don’t move into nursing homes because they want to, but because they can no longer care for themselves and lack the resources to pursue other options.
Average nursing home residents need 4 hours of personalized nursing care each day due to diseases like Alzheimer’s or arthritis.
Meeting senior’s medical needs currently comes at the cost of social isolation. Moving away from friends and routines causes depression in 40% of seniors. Even before COVID-19, 55% said they didn’t see enough of their families. Nursing homes need to adapt.
They need to find ways to either increase social outcomes for residents or give seniors the tools they need to live independently.
Advances in medical technology are improving the quality of nursing home care across the board. Some innovations can even help seniors regain their independence and return home.
Current tech includes Solo-Step, a rehabilitation harness that prevents fall-related injuries and lets users move about more freely, and Aiva voice assistant, which gives seniors an easier way to communicate with other residents, family members, and caregivers from a distance.
Coming in the future are things like The Kidney Project, an artificial kidney that would remove the need for dialysis. These products give aging people a brighter future.
As Elaine Ryan, Vice President of Government Affairs for State Advocacy at AARP, says, “this pandemic has made us painfully aware that we can’t ignore our most vulnerable people.
Americans always respond to a crisis. And there is hope that, with innovative ideas and bold action, they will again.”
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