Jay V. Patel, Seniorlink's Clinical Transformation Officer, was featured in McKnight's Senior Living this week. Patel discussed the role family caregiver's play in the battle against Alzheimer's, one that is largley overlooked with a staggering 22% of family caregivers caring for a loved one with the disease, and how Seniorlink is empowering the family caregiver through VOICE.
Via McKnight's Senior Living:
"The initial findings of the VOICE Dementia Care intervention are important. Family caregivers reported meaningful improvements in confidence, particularly related to self-care and coping, as they cared for those with dementia. Moreover, the people being cared for experienced overall large declines (more than 50%) in hospitalizations and emergency department (and urgent care) visits during the six-month period of program implementation, compared with the six-month period before VOICE. These reductions were maintained in the six months following VOICE implementation. Although this was a small sample investigation without a control group, the findings are promising, and Seniorlink aims to replicate them in larger studies.
The financial value of family caregivers' contributions is already great: Current industry estimates put the cost of dementia care at $259 billion this year — but that doesn't include the estimated $230 billion in services provided by unpaid family caregivers. Their contributions increasingly will become invaluable to our nation's ability to provide care amidst a projected increase in other dementia care costs to $1.1 trillion by 2050.
As the healthcare industry considers how to absorb these accelerating expenses, we also must examine options for cost savings. At Seniorlink, we are focusing on the learnings from the VOICE Dementia Care program and are now integrating these protocols into our care collaboration technology platform, Vela. By using HIPAA-secure technology to connect family caregivers to professional care teams in the daily management of these complex dementia residents, we create new opportunities to deliver high-quality care efficiently at scale."
To read the full article, click here.