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Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
Technology and aging conference
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Technology and aging conference


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  • HouseWorks has been a strategic partner and the preferred home care provider of Boston’s Beacon Hill Village since its inception. HouseWorks has been selected as the preferred home care provider for two new communities: Cambridge at Home in Cambridge, MA and The Watergate Initiative in Washington, D.C. HouseWorks is supporting the development of additional communities in the Greater Boston and Greater Washington areas. HouseWorks is adapting web-based technology to support the community-building and service-delivery functions of the new communities.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Emerging Technologies for the Silver Tsunami: A ging in Place through the use of Integrated Technology Andrea Cohen , Co-Founder & CEO [email_address] 617-928-1010
    • 2. Points to Cover
      • About HouseWorks
      • Our customers -- adult children
        • Incentives to use technology
        • Concerns
      • Home care companies
        • Incentives to use technology
        • Concerns
    • 3. My Perspective
      • 20+ years sitting with entrepreneurs, policy makers, and researchers in the technology and aging space to help them understand what seniors and their families will both want AND purchase. (HouseWorks customers are a perfect focus group)
      • First-hand understanding of the obstacles home care companies face when considering technology solutions for their clients.
      • Firmly believe that the integration of technology and service is absolutely necessary to manage the “silver tsunami.” It won’t work if we all create separate aging-in-place solutions.
    • 4. HouseWorks at a Glance
      • HouseWorks is a private home care company that makes it possible for seniors to remain at home.
        • In the private home care business for 12+ years.
        • Boston: one of the first - and now one of the largest -single site private home care providers in the country.
        • Opened second office in Greater Washington in ’08.
        • Serve 300+ customers/week who use service an average of 30 hours/week for 10 months.
        • Directly employ and closely supervise 400+ direct-care staff (Associates). Hire 1out of 17 candidates that apply.
    • 5. HouseWorks at a Glance (cont.)
      • Built business on great relationships
        • Provides service in nearly 40 senior housing residences.
        • Selected to be the preferred provider of private home care for Hebrew SeniorLife , an integrated system of senior health, senior housing and research in MA, and for Maplewood Park Place , a CCRC in Maryland.
      • Earned a reputation for innovation and creative solutions to help seniors stay at home, and do as much as they can for as long as they want.
        • A leader in the “Village” movement. Strategic partner for Beacon Hill Village and other Boston and DC-based Villages.
        • One of the first private home care companies to introduce technology solutions to customers to enhance the service experience.
    • 6. Our Services
      • Home Care (Boston and Greater Washington)
        • Personal care
        • Hourly, live-in, 24/7, end-of-life care
        • Medication assistance
        • Homemaking & companionship
        • Incidental transportation
      • Home Modification (Boston only)
        • Home renovation and adaptive equipment installation
        • Ramps, grab bars, showers, prepare home for hospital discharge
        • Clean-outs, hoarding services
    • 7. Our Customers
      • Primary customer is the adult child , who:
        • Is unfamiliar with home care - options, payment, what to look for, and what to ask.
        • Knows that he or she is making a high stakes decision - and has little time to think it over.
        • Is employed and leads a busy life.
        • Calls when there is an imminent need for service (not before).
        • Draws on parents’ savings to pay for services, but is unsure of how long the money will last.
        • Is skeptical that any home care company can meet their needs.
        • Feels guilty for not personally providing the care.
        • Is completely out of his or her comfort zone.
    • 8. Our Customers (cont.)
      • For their aging parents, our customers want:
        • Information to make informed health care decisions.
        • A roadmap to help them understand what’s next.
        • Access to any specialist.
        • Completely reliable care providers that are easy to reach.
        • The option to manage care remotely anytime of the day or night:
          • Daily reports that document: care provider arrival time, observable changes, and/or medication adherence
        • Instant solutions to problems as they arise .
    • 9. Our Customers: Incentives to Use Technology
      • Communicate with other family members without having to pick up the phone and call each individually.
      • A way to ask for help from friends and family without being involved in the detail.
      • Connect with care providers when its convenient for them (not just for the care provider).
      • Receive (daily) updates on their parent’s condition anytime they want.
        • Able to more easily manage care at a distance.
        • May know more quickly of an impending crisis.
        • Peace of mind. Getting daily reports is the next best thing to being there.
    • 10. Our Customers: Incentives to Use Technology
      • Easier for a parent to agree to a technology solution than it would be to send more people to their home.
      • Helps “start the conversation.”
      • Enables parent to reconnect with people they have not seen for years. Makes “virtual visits” to friends and family possible.
      • Gives parent access to life-affirming activities that provide a sense of purpose and keep them engaged in the world. Creates new possibilities.
    • 11. Our Customers: Concerns About Technology
      • My parent will refuse to use it. “It’s intrusive.”
      • My parent won’t be able to figure out how to use it, and there will be no one to help them.
      • I will have “too much information.”
      • It is not secure.
      • It won’t work.
      • Hard to make a high stakes decision about a product that is so unfamiliar.
    • 12. Home Care Companies: Incentives to Use
      • Enhances communication. Better communication = a better service experience.
        • Provides options for families to connect to a home care company in more ways than by phone and e-mail.
        • Makes it easy for customers to provide feedback about their service experience.
      • Enables customers to get ‘real time’ information on:
        • Their parent’s care
        • Their service schedule or bill
      • Provides qualitative data to:
        • Use on marketing materials
        • Share with potential customers to explain service differentiators.
    • 13. Home Care Companies: Incentives to Use (cont.)
      • Expands company’s clinical capacity
        • Adds new service lines.
        • Supports staff on heavy care cases.
      • Is a brand differentiator
        • Positions company as innovative and forward thinking- always looking for ways to help seniors do as much as they possibly can for as long as they want.
        • Is press-friendly
      • Creates good will
        • Offer free to long-standing, high spending customers.
        • A straightforward and simple solution for seniors who are not ready for home care services.
    • 14. Home Care Companies: Concerns about Technology
      • Clients won’t like it.
      • Distracts from core business.
        • Will take too much staff time to implement.
      • Reluctant or skeptical staff don’t see the vision or understand the value.
        • Voice mail and e-mail are enough. Don’t need other ways to communicate.
        • Adds work.
        • No time to figure out how to use it.
        • ‘ Not my job’ to up-sell to clients. I manage their care.
      • Not enough ROI.
        • Will not generate significant revenue.
        • Could reduce customer hours.
        • There are no measures (yet) to confirm that it really works.
      • A myriad of HIPAA and other security issues….
    • 15. Conclusions
      • Product design : Talk to the senior and the adult child. Don’t make assumptions. Keep it simple and unobtrusive. When possible, design it to customize for each user. Seniors can be active and engaged or need round-the-clock care—and can transition from one category to the next very quickly.
      • Branding : Develop a strategy that gains consumer trust - especially if the company has no track record in elder care or health care. Pick strategic partners that add credibility.
      • Marketing : Make sure there is someone on the team that truly understands the customer – the senior, adult child, home care company or health plan. Create a different message for each customer group.
      • Sales : Identify a “champion” in the company that shares the vision and will help drive in the value proposition to staff. Provide staff (and customer) training.
      • Outcomes : Find out from the customer what data they need to sell the product internally and externally. Help the industry by providing benchmarks to prove technology is a cost-effective solution.