The countdown has begun! With the New Year all set to arrive, we are sure your excitement abundant! 2021 was an incredible year that witnessed growth, some ground-breaking developments, and an outstanding stage for a lot more exciting improvements for 2022!
Join us as we take a walk down the year, looking in retrospect at some of the changes and improvements that ensued in the home care industry in 2021!
A Shift in Care Models
According to a consumer survey conducted by Quadrant Strategies, 72 percent of respondents preferred to receive care at home following a major medical event, 69 percent chose regular check-ins at home, 63 percent preferred to receive care at home, and 51 percent preferred to stay at home due to the pandemic.
The after effects of COVID-19 nudged home care businesses to cater to client needs and plan for delivering care services at home. With the onset of the pandemic, many home care leaders chose to:
- Automate and digitize their operations
- Shift to online mode of communication to a great extent
- Decrease barriers within clients, family caregivers, and agencies via technological assets & tools.
Tele health technologies have become critical to the safe delivery of home care treatments, and the hurdles to this change continue to disappear. More and more components of the client journey began taking place from home, not just because patients wanted it but also because mobile technology opened new avenues.
2021 summarized that virtual care is here for the long run and could potentially transform the operational landscape of the home care industry.
Staffing Challenges saw a New Rescue
Experts anticipated a higher surge in caregiving needs. With the blow of COVID-19 and increased care needs, retaining staff began as a challenge. However, with the intervention of technology, home care businesses could subside the obstacle.
Home care leaders made use of technology to:
- Create and change schedules automatically
- Set/adjust recurring shifts
- Empower undisturbed communication between clients and caregivers
- Offer ease of work and accountability with caregiver mobile applications
Technological advancements proved to be somewhat successful in removing any inefficiency in the staffing process. It led to lesser staffing gaps and discrepancies. Also, the easy usability brought about a wave of satisfaction among caregivers to spend productive days at work.
Companionship Services saw a Hike
Even before COVID-19, baby boomers who were aging in place were struck by isolation and loneliness. The year 2021 saw more seniors seeking comradeship and a sense of connection resulting in a rise in companionship services.
As per research, almost one-fourth of seniors aged 65 and over are socially isolated, a problem aggravated by a lack of transportation, hearing and mobility impairments, and other issues. As more and more elder populations shift to in-home care, their needs will compound as well. Bringing forth a feeling of amity will remain a significant service area for home care agencies in the upcoming years.
Expecting the Unexpected
After witnessing COVID-19 in its full force, home care agencies had to strengthen their crisis management systems. The pandemic not only disturbed in-home care services but also led to a higher staff churn rate and lesser resources to manage unprecedented change.
As per a journal, clients’ concerns about infection, family members taking on care responsibilities, and aides being unable to work resulted in a decline in demand for home visits for most agencies (98.7%). Such alarming statistics encouraged home care leaders to prepare for the uncertain while making the best out of the present scenario.
Home care agencies utilized data, analytics, and technology to decrease the negative impact of the pandemic, simultaneously working on contingency strategies and apt crisis management.
As COVID-19 and Omicron terror spreads out vigorously, the world may still not be off the hook. It’d be wise to prepare ahead to minimize damage.
The ride here may have been bittersweet but what counts is the ability to make the best out of every challenge. As we bid goodbye to 2021, it is equally crucial to reflect on the year and lay down a solid plan for the upcoming year. We hope that 2022 holds success and good fortune in any endeavor you pursue. Here’s to a prosperous New Year!
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