How senior care will change and improve in the coming years
Living longer could be described as a double-edged sword. Although we have greater preventative health care and continual advances in treatment and medical science; the number of seniors suffering from disabilities will continue to rise as age-related illnesses and conditions take their toll yet treatments are still available to prolong life. For this reason, the elderly care market is set to exponentially increase year on year as more people are living longer but without the full capability to look after themselves. And expanding capacity is not just via residential care homes and nursing homes but also care at home, day care centers, and other related care services, all targeted at the senior generation over the age of 65.
So just where will we see changes in the coming years in the senior care sector and what trends will affect those changes? Let’s take a look…
Care for the elderly may have lagged in terms of societal trends that have benefited other age groups. For instance, many residential homes could still be described as old-fashioned in terms of technology and providing social interaction with the wider world for people with physically or mentally life-limiting conditions. However, change is always afoot and new strategies are now beginning to be adopted by both key players and smaller independent companies in the care service sector to benefit from market growth and provide the best care possible to their elderly clients.
Wireless connectivity and advanced technological advances are being increasingly used to deliver improved healthcare services. The gap between the seniors needing care and the younger generation completely at home with the latest technology is beginning to close. However, this technology often needs to be adapted for older people – think smart toilets in private homes or care centers for instance, or mobile devices with easy-to-use large buttons. This means that there is a growth market in specialized services that can provide these requirements specific to the senior sector.
Private versus state care services
It’s not just senior live-in care providers investing in these expanding services and facilities to help them better look after their clients. Whilst cost may initially seem prohibitive, the setup and running of such care facilities can be comparatively less than keeping an elderly person in the hospital when they have no real medical need to be there. A place in a hospital bed is a very expensive way to care for an older person who simply needs help with personal care and mobility issues, for example. And yet when there is no other safe option that is often what happens.
Fortunately, there has been a widening of the scope of senior care provided via state-run nursing homes, residential homes, and 10-12 hour daycare facilities. These can offer the elderly a chance to socialize away from their home environment and provide respite to those who care for them on a 24/7 basis.
Whether it’s home-based care, community-based care, or institutional care – the most effective senior care can only be delivered via a well-run infrastructure that keeps up with the trends of modern living. This ensures that everyone, whatever their age, can benefit in the same way as those of us who do not need care. An effective infrastructure depends on the quality of not only its staff but also the technology it embodies. As far as staff is concerned that means professional development and training are required for the skills needed to provide care to seniors with compassion whilst also being comfortable using the technology that can aid the delivery of care.
The aftermath of COVID
Although sad but true; the recent pandemic catalyzed the acceleration of technological growth in improving the lives of those using elderly care services, including proper medical care. Some care can now be delivered via technology such as online services and virtual visits, check-ins, and check-ups with healthcare professionals.
Client driven focus
It’s important to finish off by pointing out that the senior care industry is patient and family-led in that it is the market users themselves who support industry growth. With an ever-increasing number of clients being proactive regarding their own health and well-being (including the use of digital technologies) their level of care can only continue to improve whether it that’s in a residential care home or receiving domiciliary care at home.