Technology has been highlighted as one of the bright lights for the future of home care access and support. As more seniors reach retirement age, it is well documented that the demand for in-home care support services will increase. With that increased desire to ‘age in place,’ coupled with reduced Medicaid reimbursements for in-home care services, it has led companies to find more innovative and cost-effective ways to help people stay safe and get proper monitoring at home.
Safe Balance is a Birmingham based technology company that is focused on developing innovative solutions for in-home health and hospice services. It recently signed a three state contract with Residential Home Health and Hospice of Troy.
The goal is to provide the right technology that helps seniors and disabled adults stay safer within their home environments. According to statistics, nearly one in four seniors 65 and over falls every year. Those falls are the leading cause of fatal injury among seniors as well as nonfatal trauma related hospitalizations.
As noted by Crain’s Detroit Business in its blog, Home-care firm expands use of startup’s anti-fall tech, written by Jay Greene:
“Residential, which has a history of pioneering new health care technology, began piloting the Safe Balance program last December and estimates it has reduced falls by at least 20 percent, said David Curtis, president and CEO of Residential. He said the program will help seniors stay safe and pinpoint potential fall risks before they happen, which will improve quality of life and reduce expensive hospital stays and ER visits.
Over the past six months, 437 people were tested by Safe Balance in more than 27 communities in Michigan and Illinois. After some therapeutic intervention, two areas of critical fall risk decreased: standing balance improved 22 percent and time to complete basic mobility skills improved by 5.3 seconds, Clinton-Barnett said.”
Safe Balance utilizes a tablet-based app and other algorithms as well as instrumentation that determines a person’s gait, balance, and even their history as well as personal interviews to calculate their fall risk.
This fall risk score is then used to provide strategies that help to minimize the real-world and real-time risk of falling for that individual. Through these types of technological innovations, it is possible for more seniors to remain safe at home, even as they grapple with diminishing strength and other health issues that can affect mobility, balance, and, ultimately, safety.
Technology continues to become a more integral part of the in-home care sector and incorporating these innovative solutions allows agencies to provide improved quality care and support for their clients.