By Seniorlink on Mar 18, 2021 9:19:17 AM
Since the program initially launched in the Fall of 2020, AIHS has seen increased communication between family caregivers and their case managers. Later this month, AIHS will expand the program to reach more families and sees a benefit to offering it beyond the pandemic.
FORT WAYNE, Ind., March 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Aging and In-Home Services (AIHS) of Northeast Indiana announced today that it will expand an initiative with Seniorlink's Caregiver Homes of Indiana that helps to increase communication between its case managers and the families they serve. AIHS will soon begin offering the new service to over 200 families who are caring for loved ones with chronic or complex conditions during the pandemic.
The initiative provides AIHS case managers who work with families with Medicaid waivers access to Vela, Caregiver Homes' secure digital collaboration platform, to facilitate communication with family caregivers of Medicaid consumers. The program was launched in late August of 2020 with approximately 11 AIHS case managers and about 60 families enrolled. Since then, AIHS case managers have reported better access to families, greater insight into the care being provided at home and improved care quality.
AIHS case managers point to Vela's streamlined text messaging and file-sharing capabilities as two key features that boosted caregiver engagement during the pandemic. Unlike a phone call or telehealth appointment, Vela's secure text messaging feature allows conversations to be carried on intermittently. This method of communication increased caregiver engagement by 75%, in addition to creating a record of the interaction to be referred to later. Case managers also offer positive feedback on the digital platform's ease of use, and the extra layer of organization it provides to handle a large caseload.
The consensus among case managers is that Vela provides another opportunity for staff and families to connect," says Maureen Widner, Chief Operating Officer of AIHS. "This tool has the ability to better support families throughout this stressful time. We are pleased with the results of the pilot and excited to move forward with this expansion."
At the beginning of the COVID-19 public health crisis, AIHS moved rapidly to convert their staff to remote status and their method of service provision to a more high-tech approach.
"AIHS has always been 'boots on the ground' and in the home addressing the Social Determinants of Health," says Widner. "I am proud of the efforts of the agency to put high-touch back in our service delivery and Vela, along with other telephonic and tele-health pilots we have implemented, has been a great partner in those efforts. We believe that Vela will continue to enhance how we serve Hoosier families in the future."
"Technology isn't a replacement for human connection in healthcare, but it plays a vital role in maintaining support for families during the pandemic and even beyond," says Jennifer Trowbridge, Senior Director of Operations, Caregiver Homes of Indiana. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to expand the use of Vela as a platform on behalf of our AIHS families."
About Aging and In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana (AIHS)
AIHS is the federal and state designated Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC), is a non-profit community-based organization with a mission to promote dignity, independence, and advocacy for older adults, persons with disabilities and their caregivers. AIHS has gained national recognition as a community leader transforming the traditional social services model into an integrated care model which bridges health care, behavioral health and community services to better serve vulnerable, at-risk populations.
About Caregiver Homes from Seniorlink
Caregiver Homes from Seniorlink is a tech-enabled health services company focused on keeping care in the home, where family caregivers play a pivotal role. Our solutions combine collaboration technology through our proprietary app, Vela; evidence-based clinical protocols; and the human touch of dedicated care teams working in partnership with family caregivers. Seniorlink's solutions lead to improved outcomes, cost savings, and improved consumer engagement and satisfaction for health plans and providers. For more information, please visit www.Seniorlink.com.