Top four technology tips to help aged care providers get ahead

| 21 Jan 2016
Technology tips

With a new year upon us, it’s the perfect time for aged care providers to seek out new ways to create efficiencies and enhance care practices. To get you started, we have compiled our four top technology-inspired tips from some of iCareHealth’s most read articles.

Digital inclusion for happier care recipients

As Consumer Directed Care (CDC) begins to shape both home and residential aged care, providers need to find creative ways to offer person focussed care. As a result, many providers are working to promote digital inclusion – the aim of equipping disadvantaged groups with the tools to fully participate in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) – within their services.

As a standout feature, residential aged care providers are increasingly offering residents free facility Wi-Fi access, while home care providers may offer a bank of shared devices and internet access through their linked day centre.

While some older people may be resistant to using computers, the benefits of having internet access outweighs any initial concerns. By connecting online, care recipients can stay in touch with family via email and video services, read the news in large print, and play games to stimulate their minds. By offering access to the internet or banks of devices, providers can promote that they cater to an individual’s lifestyle and wellbeing needs, not just their care requirements.

Social media for promoting your services

Savvy aged care providers are turning to social media to help promote their business and engage with current care recipients and their families.

Providers can access this free marketing tool to promote unique aspects of their care, such as sharing photos from a recent activity or posting information about an upcoming excursion. This enables prospective care recipients and their families to gain insight into whether an organisation will be the right fit. For families of current care recipients, social media updates can provide comfort that their loved one is in good hands.

Having an active social media presence also highlights that your organisation has the staff resources to invest in digital communications, differentiating your business from that of your competitors.

Assistive technologies for more efficient care

Assistive technology is a broad term used to describe any object or system that enables a person to perform a task that they would otherwise be unable to do, or increase the ease and safety by which certain tasks can be performed. Aged care providers can utilise these tools to enhance their care provision through the use of monitoring, prompts and reminders.

In instances where a person is prone to wandering and disorientation, door sensors can be implemented to alert care staff when they exit the building, while GPS tracking devices can securely monitor the person’s exact location.

Other varieties of assistive technologies can be utilised to help positively impact a care recipient’s confidence, health and wellbeing. These can come in the form of orientation clocks that help eliminate confusion around the time and date, and locator devices that help to find lost items, such as remote controls.

User Experience designed software for better staff engagement

Technology in itself is not a guaranteed generator of growth or enhanced care for providers. Any technology implemented needs to engage staff and be easy to navigate. Without these factors, technology can become unused or underutilised, meaning any potential efficiencies or enhanced practices are lost.

Partnering with a software vendor that employs User Experience (UX) specialists helps to ensure the software has a simple layout and navigation, with the most important information brought to the surface. By allowing users to navigate the system with minimal clicks, workers have more time to focus on providing high quality care. Selecting software that has been UX designed particularly benefits staff who have lower levels of computer literacy, as more intuitive software requires less training for non tech-savvy staff members.

What other forms of technology would help aged care providers to achieve efficiencies? 

Tags: aged care, aged care software, assistive technologies, assistive technology, digital inclusion, home care, marketing, residential aged care, social media, software, software provider, tech, technology, UI, user experience, UX

Sophia Bolden

Communications Coordinator

Sophia Bolden is the Communications Coordinator at Telstra Health - ADCC (formerly iCareHealth). With a background in the disability and aged care sector, she brings an understanding and passion for aged care. Sophia recognises the importance of social media and online communication in relating technology and aged care news in the most effective way possible.

Comments

  1. Gary

    As someone who has recently moved my very elderly parents into Aged Care in Perth, I was surprised that the facility does not do more to involve the family. Our family are widely spread…Melbourne, Singapore and Hong Kong. Simple things like emailing us all the weekly activities so we can prompt Mum and Dad, setting up Skype sessions… The more we do, the less they have to do

    Reply
    • Sophia Bolden

      Hi Gary,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. Aged care providers are increasingly moving towards a more person-centred approach, with providers recognising the importance of technology in ensuring residents can stay connected and informed. I expect that this will continue to increase in the coming years. In the meantime, hopefully your suggestions can help your residential aged care provider to enable you to better keep in touch with their loved ones. Thanks again for commenting.
      Sophia

      Reply

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