Like every industry that has weathered the last two years, the senior care industry has taken some incredibly hard hits. Taking on everything from a global pandemic, overcoming supply chain issues to extreme worker shortages, senior care facilities like nursing homes and assisted living facilities know they can’t stand still to be ready for the future. If anything, these challenging times have served to strengthen and build-up this industry to be ready to adjust and adapt – no matter what tomorrow brings. 

 

The numbers don’t lie

Not only are lifespans getting longer in many cases, but additionally the United States is now facing the surging demands of the aging Baby Boom generation (those born between 1945-1961– when the greatest number of children were born in US history). As this population segment has aged, there are now approximately 67 million people over the age of 60 who currently need or will need care. 75% of Americans over 65 currently live with multiple chronic health conditions that range from diabetes to dementia. 

 

In the next two decades, 65 million Americans will turn 65 with over 10,000 Baby Boomers in the US turning 65 every day. Baby Boomers are reaching senior citizen status in record numbers and the number of senior Americans is projected to more than double from 46 million currently to over 98 million by 2060.

 

While these numbers were known, the pandemic, increased nursing shortages, supply chain issues, and the like were not known prior to March of 2020 – at least to the levels at which they’ve been endured. But with a record amount of the US population needing senior care and with more unknowns coming, what technology is giving senior care facilities the agility they need?

 

Nurse call system technology

While nurse call systems (or call systems) aren’t new to healthcare, the technology they use has pivoted and evolved to be ready for the future. With a wearable location system that pinpoints staff and residents in real-time, Rauland-Responder 5000 with EveryWear can identify anyone who has been in contact with someone who has an infection or infectious disease, such as COVID-19. It also helps prevent wandering residents by notifying staff if a resident should happen to roam out of the permissible area or toward exits. 

 

Nursing shortages were felt across all of healthcare prior to the pandemic. According to Charlene Harrington, emeritus professor of nursing and sociology at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies long-term care staffing, 75% of all nursing homes did not meet the professional staffing standards that experts believed they should have before the virus hit, so that made them very vulnerable.” Finding the right nurse call technology that helps to empower staff to meet the needs of the residents helps to increase worker satisfaction, productivity and increase worker retention. 

 

Conclusion

Digital transformation in long-term care benefits nearly every role from skilled nursing facilities to  assisted living communities. Organizations that properly know how to leverage technology to optimize their workflows will be better prepared to meet future challenges – no matter what comes next.

 

While there is much to evaluate in selecting the right nurse call system provider (and we’ve created some considerations here), facility operators have to strike a balance with partners who hold both a strong industry expertise and local, dedicated customer support. 

 

Audio Acoustics has been providing healthcare communication solutions to senior care facilities for over 40 years with dedicated customer support in southern Missouri, southeastern Kansas and Oklahoma.

 

Are you ready to evaluate your nurse call system technology?