10 Tips for Family Caregivers

  1. Seek support from other caregivers.  You are not alone!
  2. Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
  3. Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
  4. Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
  5. Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks often.
  6. Watch out for signs of depression and don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.
  7. Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
  8. Organize medical information so it’s up to date and easy to find.
  9. Make sure legal documents are in order.
  10. Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!

Addressing the “Silver Tsunami” in Asia with Technology

Some Context

The United Nations predicts that Asia’s population of people over 65 will increase by a whopping 430% through 2050. Economies in Asia are maturing, social and economic trends are improving, but Asia is ageing significantly. An ageing population could lead to a steep drop in the size of Asia’s workforce and sharp increases in public spending on pensions, health care and long-term care in the coming decades, according to a recent World Bank report. Disruption of Asia’s demographics is creating disruptive economies as we’ve seen in the US and other nations. As such, disruptive technologies will emerge to meet changing demographics and socio-economic needs, and this is no less true in the health care/elder care industries.

Rapid ageing is partly a result of the region’s sharply growing economies, improving healthcare eco-systems, higher life expectancies and large declines in fertility rates, with a growing number of countries now well below replacement levels, the World Bank report says.

Around Asia, the rate of ageing varies. The wealthiest countries, including Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, have already become “growing gray nations,” with populations over 65 being 14 percent or more, on average, of their populations. Developing countries and more middle-income nations, such as Indonesia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam, are ageing quickly too. The last group, including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Timor-Leste,Papua New Guinea, and the various Pacific Island countries, are still very young, with an average of four percent of the population older than 65. However, fast ageing will happen in the next few decades in these countries too. Therefore, considerable focus on caring for Asia’s elderly will be required throughout the world’s most populated region.

Relying on family support in old age, which has been a tradition for hundreds of years, is decreasing in a number of countries throughout Asia and will increase over time. In Korea, for example, fewer than 30 percent of elderly people live with their children. In China, 43 percent of those ages 65 to 80 live with their children, down from two-thirds in the early 1980s. Many elderly people are left in rural or suburban areas with young children to care for, as their adult children move to urban areas in search of better paid jobs or a more lively lifestyle.

Indeed, most older people in the region depend on their own work, instead of family and state support, as their primary source of income. A large share of people work well into their 70s, even in more wealthy countries such as Japan and Korea, but working is especially a necessity for rural residents without pensions. Baby boomers will be the “new aged” in 2030 to 2050. They will be more educated and independent with larger disposable incomes. There will also be more people that are single — both women and men — as a percentage the population that will be living independently or with partners and friends.

Transforming Ageing in Asia to “Ageing in Place”

People of all ages in Asia expect that governments will play a bigger role in supporting them in their old age. For example, one way is by providing care for the frail and incapacitated, How countries meet these expectations will be a key social, economic, and political challenge in the coming years. Unlike countries in other regions, most nations in Asia have not built nursing homes or the long term facilities one sees in America, Europe, or Australia. And, we expect few governments will take this course as the massive funding required will not be available. Most importantly, however, in Asia, putting one’s parents in a third-party private, or government-run home is not the honourable thing to do.

To be successful in addressing seniors’ health care and independent living needs, governments must transform healthcare systems into a model focused on primary care, with improved care management across all levels of the healthcare eco-system, efficient care delivery, and better prevention of noncommunicable diseases. Healthcare systems will also need to address diseases of old age, such as dementia, and develop long-term care policies that combine traditional family support with strengthened community- and home-based care systems. Assuming one can simply go into an old-age home at a certain point to address primary care needs or long term diseases, is not a likely outcome for most people, particularly in Asia.

What, therefore, can people do to care for an ageing population who will not enter nursing homes, will not live with their children forever (if at all), and are living a lot longer? Increasingly, home care where the elderly can continue to live independently, is seen as the most viable option on a long-term basis in Asia for several reasons:

  • Allows people to remain independent in their own homes, which results in a much higher quality of life.
  • Offers the full spectrum of services at home ranging from assisting with daily activities (shopping, eating, grooming, etc.) to nursing support (wound dressing, medication reminders, physiotherapy, etc.) to full medical services, particularly for people with chronic illnesses.
  • Takes the burden off loved ones — particularly children — who need to work to support their families or may live far away.
  • Can be more cost effective for the middle income demographic because, if done well, private providers of home care services can offer flexible pricing and products and services tailored to each family’s needs — without breaking the bank for those needing it.

How can technology play a role in home care?

As the number of people who need home care continues to grow, shortages of qualified caregivers and registered nurses is becoming a serious challenge. In many cases, care agency directors are struggling to find dedicated and passionate staff who can fill the demand.

Meanwhile, a lot of existing caregivers are suffering from physical and emotional burnout. They must deal with the fatigue of commuting and the guilt of never feeling like they never have enough time for the people the are caring for or the resources they need to do their jobs effectively.

This can mean more time alone for the elderly, which can increase certain types of risk for some people. Here are a few potential consequences that can result:

  • Dangerous incidents — falls and other emergencies can occur when clients with limited mobility or dementia are left alone.
  • A lack of compliance to follow their medication, physiotherapy or dietary requirements can at times cause a patient/elderly to re-admit to a healthcare institution.
  • Health risks can occur when clients forget to engage in other self-monitoring activities.
  • Health complications — health complications can arise when in-home treatment is based on incomplete patient histories sent from hospitals and other facilities. Complications may also occur while clients are waiting to see busy specialists.
  • Patient loneliness — social isolation can cause problems when client time with caregivers is reduced.

Technology for Home Care

The good news is there are plenty of new resources to explore in the form of home care and ageing in place technologies.

From emergency notification systems to videoconferencing platforms, home care technology helps clients retain their independence without sacrificing their safety. Many of these technologies have the potential to do more than improve the lives of individual users. When implemented correctly, they can help home care agencies provide better, quicker and more responsive care to a larger number of clients. Adoption of such technologies will vary, however, depending on the resources available and the technological savvy of home care agencies.

Telemedicine is one of the most talked-about types of medical technology, and with good reason. There are huge benefits to connecting patients with caregivers remotely. With the right digital videoconferencing platforms, caregivers can use phones and tablets to check in from anywhere, at anytime. While somewhat less personal, telemedicine does enable providers to offer more coverage to clients, even during off-hours.

The value of video contact is immense. Service providers receive visual confirmations that their clients are doing well. With some systems, they can send out and track reminders about medications and other activities. Clients get to see a friendly face. They get the opportunity to interact with caregivers in a way that’s more engaging than a simple phone call.

Videoconferencing can also be used when nurses are performing in-home visits and need to consult with outside specialists. For example, technology capable of capturing high-quality video can enable a wound care nurse to assess a patient’s wound remotely and advise her caregiver on how to treat it. As one can imagine, the possibilities are endless.

Wearable monitoring devices that track indicators of patient’s health, such as heart rate and blood sugar, can also help qualified health care providers get a more complete picture of what is happening with the overall health of home care patients.

Advances in telemedicine and remote monitoring are allowing home care workers to treat more patients, more often, all without the stress of constant commuting, and this could grow in Asia as the demand for home care in the region increases.

Emergency notification systems are one of the most widely-used classes of ageing in place technology. Given that an older adult dies from fall-related injuries every twenty seconds, it’s not surprising these technologies have taken off. Wearable devices that detect dangerous events and send out messages and calls for help act as lifelines for older people. These are just a handful of technologies relevant in the home care context but others are emerging.

What we’re doing at Pillar

As more and more older people with chronic health conditions are choosing to stay at home, or simply cannot live with their children, the number of companies that provide home care technologies is growing. With so many solutions to choose from, it can be difficult to figure out which ones will best serve the needs of Asia’s growing senior population. Our aim at Pillar is to transform home care in Asia by combining a full suite of services for the elderly that encourage independent living or address chronic/long-term medical needs, with technology that allows more people to gracefully live at home.

We are busy at work on technologies that meet the following criteria:

  • Intuitive, easy to use, and replicable in other markets — These days, older people are navigating social media with ease. So it’s easy to forget that many older adults still aren’t very tech savvy. When developing products that clients will interact with, we think how intuitive they are. Touch screens with clear visuals are a great example, and of course, larger fonts and screens so that older people can see them. The technologies we are working on for older clients will really be “un-technology,” in a sense, such that they won’t recognise it’s advanced “tech,” it simply gets the job done.
  • Compatible with other, more familiar technologies — Platforms and tools that can be accessed through widely-used devices (like iPads, iPhones, and tablets and laptops) will be more useful to everyone, including home care staff. It’s why we are building our leading-edge Pillar app, designed to ensure clients, their loved ones, and our caregivers can provide great care, book or extend services easily, and keep in touch.
  • Designed for family involvement — Technologies that enable a caregiver and client to interact and exchange information are even more helpful when the client’s family members can be included in the process. Adding new people for clients to talk to should be a simple process that anyone can do.
  • Capable of meeting communication and data collection and dissemination goals — Technologies that facilitate communication can serve other important functions, like collecting client data and generating useful reports that aide in the caregiving process, or provide information to offsite care providers such as doctors and specialists.
  • Able to monitor clients at home. Remote monitoring of older clients is becoming an important need, and it’s a service Pillar is developing. With the cost of on-site care growing, we are at the leading edge of structuring a number of technologies that will allow us to monitor clients in their homes, 24/7, check on wounds, monitor vital signs, report on emergencies, assist in fall and injury situations, and much more.

Many exciting products, services, and technologies are emerging to provide more effective home care for our elderly in Asia. Traditional health care and living situations for older people are changing. To keep up with a longer-living population we should adapt. In fact, we must adapt, if only to give back to the “Pillars of our families,” our parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles, for all they have done for us throughout the years. We hope you’ll join us on his important journey.

*Andrew Mastrandonas is the co-founder and CEO of Pillar, a home care service and technology company based in Kuala Lumpur, with staff in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the United States..

https://www.pillarcare.com

https://www.facebook.com/pillarasia/

https://twitter.com/PillarCareAsia

+60 17 805 9677 (main line)

+1–202–361–3047 (Andrew — whatsapp)

Pillar sets itself apart by offering the full continuum of home care services

 

Pillar sets itself apart by offering the full continuum of home care services: companion care, which involves visiting with clients and helping with common household activities like meal preparation, laundry, and housecleaning; personal care, which includes dressing, grooming, and help with mobility issues; and skilled care, which involves nursing care and therapies. Most competitors offer only the first two services. We offer the full continuum of care because it’s better for clients, providing care throughout the client’s golden years no matter what their situation is.

What to Look for in Elder Home Care

Credibility

  • What do their patients and clients say about their service? Do they offer testimonials from patients or is it all just sales hype on websites and magazines?
  • Do they have a solid history and track record in home care or is it mainly glossy ads in websites and magazines?
  • Are they attached to any credible health care organization or just a standalone team of caregivers?

Quality of Service

  • Can they give you a documented care plan committing to achievable care objectives which you can track to know if your loved one is progressing or regressing in happiness, independent living or health?
  • Are they accredited by any international standards organisation? If so since when because the only thing harder than getting an accreditation is keeping it year after year! Many lose their accreditation due to inability to keep up the standards.
  • Do they actively solicit feedback from their clients and patients as part of their quality standards? Do they make these feedbacks available to you?
  • Do they commit to a primary/backup caregiver for your care or is it a new nurse each week creating much stress for you and your loved one under care.

Cost of Care

  • Are they transparent about the costs involved or does it look deceptively cheap up front in comparison with looming hidden costs appearing once care gets under way and you are committed?
  • Does the price look too good to be true? Cheap and best in class care do not go hand in hand. Shortcuts will be made to save costs and resulting care may suffer in quality or substandard materials may be used on patient.

Safety and Security

  • Are all caregivers insured and bonded?
  • Does their organisation have in place control processes needed to ensure caregivers do not spread diseases and bio toxins from house to house.
  • Does the organisation take steps to ensure that your property and belongings are safe while their staff are in your home?

We hope this is helpful and look forward to serving you. Please contact us  online at https://www.pillarcare.com, email us at: hello@pillarcare.com or call us:  +60 17 805 9677.

Personalised care you can trust

Pillar can help our elderly loved one with man things. Here are a few of those things. We would be pleased to create a detailed care plan, at no cost or obligation. Please contact us at: hello@pillarcare.com or call us: +60 17 805 9667. We look forward to hearing from you!

Pillar — Our Principles

We are excited that you found Pillar, your home care organisation in Kuala Lumpur! Our team of KL-based personnel are here to help our clients and their families receive the best care possible. In doing so, we follow these principles each and every day:

Responsibility – our clients’ health and well being is our top priority.

Personalisation – we provide tailored services to our clients that meet their specific needs.

Fast & Easy – we believe our clients should be able to purchase care quickly whether for an hour, a day, a week, or longer, and we provide desktop and mobile tools for fast access to our services, Care Managers, and Care Companions. Our “Pillar Care App” is designed to make our clients and their loved ones’ lives easier.

Communication – we are a new type of home care, believing it should be easy for our Care Companions and clients to be in touch about our services. Our “Pillar Care App” keeps everyone informed, including clients’ loved ones.

Responsive – our staff is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Whether our clients need 1 or 24 hours of care, we are here to meet our clients’ needs.

Empathy – we are caring individuals dedicated to enhance the dignity of our clients and their loved ones, and ensure our clients lead their lives to the fullest.

Coordinated Care – our synergistic pool of expert Care Managers and Care Companions work together to provide you with the best possible quality care.

Involvement – the participation of loved ones in the success of our clients’ care plans is critical to our success in serving.

Expertise & Experience – our experienced staff is always fully updated on each client’s needs and is proactive with their actions both with clients and their loved ones.

Elderly Home Care Service Pillar Announces Launch in Kuala Lumpur

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia 02 June 2017 — An experienced group of international and local entrepreneurs, home care professionals, medical providers, and marketing experts have come together to launch a new vision and method for providing home care for our seniors in Malaysia and beyond. This company, called “Pillar” (www.pillarcare.com) will revolutionise the way home care is provided and take this industry to new levels. Pillar will serve the elderly in Malaysia and others needing help, in the comfort of their homes with highly experienced and compassionate “Care Companions.” However, Pillar will also offer top-flight technology for clients or their relatives and friends to book services and to quickly and easily communicate with Pillar’s Care Companions, unlike anything seen in Asia to date (coming soon).

With a dedicated and passionate team of professionals, Pillar will be an influential and forward-thinking home care company. It will provide a full range of in-home non-medical care and over time, health care services, specializing in highly complex care. Pillar will produce high quality outcomes, focus on care excellence through ongoing and thorough training, and attain exceptional customer satisfaction by carefully matching caregiver expertise to the customer’s need, all while maintaining a culture of compassion.

“We are excited to be able to offer Pillar given the growing demand for home care in Malaysia,” said Dr. Joseph Lim, a co-founder of Pillar and Managing Director. “The fact is, more and more people need home care for their elderly parents or others. We’re combing a very easy to access and use desktop and mobile solution with the full spectrum of services to serve Kuala Lumpur and beyond in 2017.”

Pillar’s platform will help ensure independent living for those elderly who want to live on their own or with their partners. Pillar also wishes to ensure “ageing in place” for those children who are unable to personally care for their parents. As Malaysia’s population grows older and infrastructure such as nursing homes and other senior facilities cannot keep up with demand, ageing in place will continue to grow in importance.

Pillar will offer a range of non-medical services to start such as meal preparation, housekeeping, companionship, and transportation, with nursing and personal care services, and much more coming soon. A current list of services can be found at www.pillarcare.com.

Pillar is launching initially in Kuala Lumpur but plans to expand to Penang and other cities in Malaysia during 2017. Pillar also plans to enter the Singapore market in early 2018, given the city-state’s growing elderly population. For its launch, the company will offer mainly non-medical services and add medical services over time. According to its initial assessment, most prospective clients are interested in non-medical services such as cleaning, providing food, making trips to run errands, and so on, hence its current services. However, Pillar’s key value is that it will be an end-to-end solution. Some companies provide just doctors to a patient’s home, others offer just non-medical services, and still others offer only remote medical monitoring. With technology, a full spectrum of services, and dedicated staff, Pillar will offer solutions that care for the social/mental and physical needs of its elderly clients while in their homes for whatever situation they are in or needs they have.

“Pillar’s technology backbone is built to offer the full range of services that adapts with our elderly clients’ needs as they get older, or face unforeseen medical challenges. No one is providing such an end-to-end solution with the technology base we’ve built and will continue to evolve in the months to come,“ said, Andrew Mastrandonas, co-founder and CEO of Pillar.

Pillar begins with an initial assessment of clients through its highly-trained and certified Care Managers, who are all Kuala Lumpur natives. To connect with a care manager, to see current service offerings, areas serviced, and to book services, please visit www.pillarcare.com or call us at: +60-17-805-9677

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For more information, please visit www.pillarcare.com.

Please follow Pillar on facebook, and twitter.

Pillar Press Contact:
Andrew Mastrandonas: andrew@pillarcare.com
Joseph Lim: joe@jpillarcare.com

Pillar
No 59-02, The Boulevard, Mid Valley City,
Lingkaran Syed Putra,
59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+60-17-805-9677

SOURCE Pillar
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