As the year begins, you might begin to notice certain trends popping up in the eldercare industry. Below, we have listed four trends that might change the way you care for your aging loved ones.
High-Tech Senior Care
Wearable devices became a hot product in 2015, so look for further improvements in 2016. Specifically, GPS devices allow those with memory problems to be found if they wander. Also, PERS (Personal Emergency Response Systems) devices continue to improve, allowing a person wearing them to alert a call center in case of an emergency. Taking medication will also become digitalized with the emergence of various medical apps such as MedCoach, which help you schedule and track your perscriptions.
The Decline in Nursing Homes, Rise of Homecare
We have seen the slow decline in nursing homes and a rise in affordable home care services for nearly a decade. Most people would rather age in place than to live in a assited living community. Supporting this idea is the federal outlook of Nursing Assistants jobs (up 17%) and Register Nurse jobs (up 16%) through 2024. Homecare specialists will increase in numbers in the coming years. As homecare becomes more cost effective than nursing homes, we will continue to see this shift to homecare.
Health and wellness programs will continue to trend upwards in 2016. With more mainstream programs offered locally such as Metro Parks FAB (fifty and better), seniors are able to learn about living a healthier, active lifestyle. Silver Sneakers is an insurance benefit (included in more than 65 Medicade health plans) that offers gym memberships at no additional cost. A higher level of physical activity is associated with slower cognitive decline, meaning wellness will continue to emerge as a strong player in the war against memory loss.
Monthly gatherings named dementia cafés or memory cafés will soon be a common place, offering dementia patients the support and comfort most environments cannot provide. These dementia-friendly meetings are a gathering place for family members and caregivers alike. Members can interact, laugh, cry, tell stories or just enjoy the company of other.
Look for these trends in 2016 and beyond!
Published on January 1, 2016.