How innovation is helping hundreds of thousands of caregivers
Baby boomers have told society loud and clear that they are willing to do what it takes to live a healthy, prolific, and independent life. In addition, the pandemic helped most seniors to embrace digital life faster, and technology innovations fast-forwarded access to at-home “everything,” empowering people of all ages to live longer and happier lives. Hispanic Baby Boomers are no exception. As with all the other ethnicities, they are eager to enjoy life to its fullest, but sometimes, chronic health conditions often prevent them and their families from doing so.
Rosa Almonte is 83 years old daughter; Mercedes Wingate is her primary caregiver. She explains to us that after many years of struggling with preparing her mother’s medications every month, she found them frequently disorganized and all over the house. One day Mercedes had a breakdown. Mercedes is not alone.
Today, more than 53 million Americans provide some form of in-home care. Nearly 85% of the—40 million people—are unpaid family members who must juggle their caregiving responsibilities with full-time jobs and other obligations. Although caregiving is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States, there is a growing shortage of professional caregivers as the nation’s population ages. According to a study conducted by the AARP, the ratio of caregivers to patients over 80 was 7-to-1 in 2010. By the end of this decade, that ratio will have fallen to 4-to-1, representing a shortage of more than 151,000 caregivers. In addition, by 2034, the number of Americans older than 65 will outnumber children for the first time in the nation’s history.
With an average of 1.83 caregivers per household, there are an estimated 8,147,000 Hispanic caregivers in the U.S. caregivers are female, with an average age of 43, caring for a loved one whose average age is 62. Most of the care recipients are female.
Given that 7 out of 10 older adults will eventually need long-term care, we’re faced with the reality that there will simply not be enough people to provide support. The caregiver crisis isn’t a hypothetical problem for the future, and it’s already here.
Up to 75% of people with chronic conditions don’t take their medicine as directed—by missing a dose, not refilling their prescription on time, or not taking their medication at all.1 Medication non-adherence results in countless unnecessary negative and sometimes dangerous health outcomes, including rehospitalizations and worse.
Mercedes continues: “God answered my prayers because, after an hour or so, he called me into the office to show me what he found! Hero is a machine that would allow me to fill, dispense and monitor Mom’s medicine! I quickly called and spoke to a great gentleman who set up an appointment! Before I knew it the machine was shipped and finally arrived! It has been a blessing! It’s one less thing to worry about.” Mercedes explains that she does not find medicine around the house and can fill up to 90 days’ supply makes it manageable that she has been able to able to remove bottles from the house.” I also like to have nurse support for my mother and myself since at times, it becomes difficult when making certain decisions to ensure Mom takes her meds.”
Hero, the only end-to-end medication management service, has partnered with another digital health innovator,Assure Health. Together, the two companies are solving the issue of medication adherence by combining top-of-the-line, user-friendly technology with individual and personalized patient care. Assure helps patients manage chronic conditions at home by connecting them with a dedicated nurse care manager and providing them with easy-to-use health devices, like Hero’s smart pill dispenser. These technologies then communicate health data directly to patients’ Assure care manager, who collaborates with their existing healthcare providers. Through the partnership, Hero will provide Assure patients with an end-to-end medication management system, including a smart pill dispenser, app, automatic refills, and 24/7 live support. The positive impact of this kind of technology cannot be overstated: Among those who use the Hero system, medication adherence rates have reached 95%.
Reset changes in Medicare rules provide many seniors with coverage for remote therapeutic monitoring—known as RTM—which delivers in-home care solutions for medication adherence to patients. This important change has enabled Hero and Assure—which delivers RTM services through its nationwide, purpose-built clinical network—to provide health-improving, easy-to-use technology tools to help patients stay on track with their medication routines. Eligible seniors can get personalized daily care, plus medication support, at low or no cost.
Hero and Assure will do the work of staying on track with medication management for individuals and their caregivers. By making medications easier to manage, Hero and Assure are giving patients with chronic conditions more time back in their day and greater peace of mind…