At a time when every seven seconds another baby boomer turns 50 in the US, more attention is being paid to creating new innovations for bringing technology into caregiving in as many ways as possible. This is due to the fact that current studies on caregivers project their numbers will drop as fewer people enter the long-term care field and budgets continue to shrink. The Center for Aging Services and Technologies (CAST) is working to change that.
CAST began as a partnership between the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) and the Intel Corporation in 2002. CAST is working to reduce health care costs, help older adults maximize their independence, improve the quality of care and life, support the needs of professional and family caregivers, and increase aging services provider efficiency. As the 50+ population increases, CAST works to unite not only research, business, governmental, and medical communities within the US but also those abroad in order to develop innovations for caregiving.
There are many other burdens being placed on caregivers. Large amounts of paperwork and antiquated service delivery bog down the current system and cause frustration for many caregivers. By incorporating more technology into the caregiving industry, many time-consuming responsibilities could become more efficient. Paperwork can become electronic and automatic and the health status of more individuals can be monitored remotely, allowing for more direct care for those in need.
CAST breaks aging service technologies down into four categories: enabling technologies, such Quiet Care Home Health Security System, allows older people to be more independent and remain in their own homes for as long as possible by monitoring abnormalities in daily movement; operational technologies, such as the TeleTimecard, eliminates the time card for caregivers and replaces them with digital time records, helping aging services providers manage paperwork more efficiently; connective technologies, such as Generations Online, simplifies web functions, such as email for older persons and keeps the elderly in touch with their families, friends, and communities; and telemedicine which allow the individual’s medical consultant to monitor their patients from anywhere. According to CAST, these four components are crucial for maintaining an efficient and effective long-term care system.
By highlighting technological advancements and bringing together governmental, educational and scientific communities, CAST hopes to promote longer independent living of older persons and an efficient and effective caregiving workforce.
For more information on CAST and the new technologies that are helping older people live independent longer and aiding caregivers, please visit www.agingtech.org. Reference: http://www.aarpinternational.org/gra_sub/gra_sub_show.htm?doc_id=556118
- Steve Joyce: Elder Care Resources, Senior Care and Elderly Care Help (eldercare.com)
- MetLife Study Uncovers the Worries Caregivers in the Sandwich Generation Face (eon.businesswire.com)