Home Care Trends – Seizing the Post-Covid Home Care Growth Opportunity
The Covid-19 pandemic turned the world upside down, creating a new normal for home care providers, with growing opportunities and more seniors wanting care in their homes.
The pandemic has completely changed the way we think and everything we do. Because of Covid-19, Home Care providers across the US and throughout the world are adapting to a new reality:
- Elderly people feel safer in their own homes, and this has created an increased market demand for home care providers
- Caregiver demand is surging, and in-demand caregivers are increasingly looking for agencies that provide them with the tools and resources to make their lives easier
- Growth and complexities from a growing market require advanced software solutions and automation.
As our “new normal” starts to take shape, we see several significant home care trends dramatically affecting the industry.
Covid-19 and its effects will be with us for the foreseeable future, so don’t get left behind. Instead, reform and adapt – and learn to thrive in the new normal!
Accelerating demand for Home Care
The pandemic has changed a lot about where we spend our time – we’re all spending a lot more time in our homes.
Of course, the biggest shift has been in the workplace, but we mustn’t forget those at the most risk – our seniors and individuals with special needs. Some groups have been in isolation for a large part of two years because the safest place for us to be is at home. Fear of the virus has seen more and more seniors (and others that need care) choosing in-home care instead of nursing homes. In fact, as many as 66% of nursing homes could close by the end of 2021 due to COVID-19 costs.
This shift is nothing new – it has been occurring for the last five years. Payers are increasingly covering care that keeps individuals out of hospitals and institutions and in their homes.
LTC insurers frequently provide home care coverage as a cost-saving alternative to institutional care, while the Veterans Administration and Medicaid also cover home care services.
An enormous gap in the market
Even before Covid-19, home care demand was already projected to grow in the US by over 40% in the following five years. What’s more, the home care workforce had been projected to add nearly 1.1 million new jobs from 2018 to 2028 – more new jobs than any other occupation. However, now, thanks to the pandemic, the growth has been monumental.
Meeting this demand is the home care industry’s opportunity of a lifetime. But it means that existing home care providers will have to adapt to meet developing needs, produce superior value and increase safety – all while remaining profitable as a business.
This means that providers must be prepared to quickly scale, recruit, onboard, train and ultimately retain their care staff.
Advanced platform solutions
In such a fast-changing environment, home care agencies are finding it impossible to keep up. They need advanced technology with agency enterprise solutions, operations automation, advanced point-of-care applications, tools to help them hire and retain their caregivers, KPIs to manage their businesses and robust analytics to meet a growing number of regulations and reporting requirements. Legacy or manual systems with disconnected spreadsheets are fast becoming a relic of the past.
Trying to meet the anticipated demand requires solutions to allow for accelerated growth and scaling. This is why providers must act quickly and select the right technology partner to have the proper infrastructure to capitalize.
As we experience this increase in demand for qualified caregivers, retaining talent will be critical.
Providers will be required to provide tools for caregivers that are intuitive and allow them to have the information they need to be productive and provide quality care. Providers also need ways to engage and recognize the next generation of caregivers in ways that enhance job satisfaction.
This again will require agencies to have digital tools available to meet the needs of both their growing employee base and their administration.
Lastly, the home care industry needs to adapt to the fact that society needs better knowledge and understanding of the individuals that come in contact with the client and their family. Providers will need to leverage dynamic scheduling to include caregiver and client verification, contact tracing and care team communication tools.
Easy-to-use digital tools, training and retaining talent will be the key to provider success as we step beyond the confines of social distancing and engage in the new normal.
With remote or virtual visits set to become standard in care, integrated HIPAA-secure communication tools at the point of care are vital.
The way forward
The short-term challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic bring with it several opportunities for home care providers. First, however, providers must have the underlying infrastructure in place to scale to the opportunity.
Smartcare Software can provide solutions that will have applicability for many years to come. Smartcare offers an easy-to-use digital solution to manage, schedule and operate everything you need to help you and your agency prepare for the future of Home Care.
Smartcare is currently offering its COVID-19 Toolset at no charge to all Home Care agencies. The Toolset App includes reminders, agency notices, symptom checks, contact tracing, and other essential tools to help you manage your response to the pandemic. We are in this together.
To find out more about Smartcare Software, email email@example.com and let us know how we can help.