Imaging Care Consultants:
less loneliness, care pressure, and costs
In this blog, you will read about how we can preventively help the elderly be less lonely, increase independence and reduce care pressure and costs. Reading time is approximately 5 minutes.
A growing problem
There is a growing problem in the Netherlands (and beyond). The elderly are getting older, and a double aging process (dutch) is taking place. As a result of this aging and the increase in the number of elderly people, the demand for care and assisted living is also increasing rapidly. The pressure on care is sky-high because you experience this every day. The subject is also, partly due to the Corona crisis, on TV every day.
People only receive care after an indication has been determined. Thus a financing channel has been opened up to provide this care. But what happens to elderly people who cannot yet get an indication because they are not yet ‘bad’ enough to get the ‘stamp of approval’ for being ill?
The government has made it a policy that elderly people must continue to live at home longer because assisted living is simply no longer possible for everyone. This government also makes policy to ensure that care organizations, insurers, and municipalities can develop supplements to care that make it easier to provide the proper care and attention.
Is expensive care the only solution?
In the Netherlands, approximately 700,000 people aged 75 years and older have difficulty living at home. 42% of these people indicate that they experience loneliness, and about 190,000 people are struggling with dementia or a preliminary phase thereof. Many of these people do not have direct access to all regular established channels of care and reimbursement. Simply because the system in the Netherlands is so complex, thoroughly medicalized, and overregulated.
As a result, elderly people only enter the system when they are suffering and are often assigned expensive care that can only be provided by medically trained personnel.
When older people live alone and, partly due to Corona, social contacts decrease, mental activity also decreases. We know that loneliness and the development of dementia can increase faster than usual due to this phenomenon.
When elderly people receive preventive care at an earlier stage, self-reliance can be promoted, and the development of dementia and loneliness can be slowed down.
We can start right now
But how do you do that when the care staff is already overburdened, and the number of elderly people asking for care is growing exponentially? Who will pay for preventive care so that expensive care moments, admissions to nursing homes, and medical care can be postponed?
We don’t have the answers yet either. But what we do see is that when you can support older people daily, they are significantly happier, and their mental health increases.
One way of doing this is by placing a Memory Lane CareScreen with the elderly. With this unique ‘tablet,’ they can keep in touch with their family, informal carers, and care organizations. The Memory Lane CareScreen has been specially developed for elderly people with little or no knowledge of operating computers. You can play games on it, look at pictures from the past, watch movies, do exercise programs, see the schedule and make video calls to anyone connected to the screen. What the elderly cannot do is surf the internet freely, so the risk of getting lost or scammed is zero.
Deployment of image care consultants
By deploying image care consultants who work internally at a welfare or care organization or who are offered by an external party, structural attention can be provided to the elderly, which positively affects the daily rhythm, personal care, and mental activity, reducing loneliness promoting self-reliance.
The image care consultant observes how the elderly person is doing and supports daily activities and questions. It is as if it is a support in the back that is always there at fixed moments. It is someone to whom the elderly can hold on and welcome addition for the family and informal carers, relieving them of increasingly busy care duties.
These image care consultants are an essential link in the contact between elderly people and their families and informal caregivers. The Memory Lane CareScreen is the link in this process.
The effects are enormous
By supporting elderly people at an earlier stage in living independently and by structurally ensuring this by using image care consultants, possible problems are identified earlier, expensive care moments can be postponed, and loneliness is combated, improving the mental and physical condition slows down diseases.
Slowing down (mental) illnesses such as dementia, reducing loneliness, and promoting self-reliance affect the demand for care and the costs for insurers and the government. If you could postpone just 1 hour of care per week for 100,000 elderly people for a year, this would already generate 208 million Euros.
We’re not there yet, not by a long shot.
Government has laws in the works to promote preventative care. Insurers are seriously looking into solutions to keep healthcare costs under control in the future. And healthcare organizations are doing all they can to get started with innovations. But it’s slow going through the tangle of rules and money flows, while elderly people are the ones who suffer, and the solution is there for the taking.
We have already started and are taking the steps we can take every day in solving the problem.
Curious about the possibilities of image-based care?
Curious about the possibilities of image-based care for your organization? Please feel free to contact our advisors.