The Home for the Aged has a new mission – to provide “Virtual Homes for the Aged” in Columbia County. For over 100 years, HFA provided a residential living for seniors in need through an adult home in Hudson, but their transformation to “virtual homes” matches the desire of County residents to live in their own homes for life, and addresses the need for care and services in the home that currently goes unmet.
A NEW PILOT PROGRAM FOR COLUMBIA COUNTY
HFA has partnered with EverHome Columbia, Inc., a new 501(c)(3) that has brought together the essential providers in the county, including the Office for Aging, Columbia Memorial Hospital, County EMS, primary care physicians, the Health Care Consortium, County DSS, the Chamber of Commerce and others dedicated to serving seniors and people with disabilities in Columbia County. Together, they have targeted 400 homes as independent, individual aging centers, and will equip each home to provide a combination of human services and state-of-the-art technology that makes aging in place safe, reliable and affordable, while allowing families to cope with the enormous burdens placed on caregivers.
“This program is brilliant! It’s a game-changer. I love the collaboration and am very energized by it. If you boil down the 1115 waiver after five years and billions of dollars. This is an example of NYS creating and implementing a cohesive plan to bring partners together for the consumer that drives health care services.. ”- Becky Preve
“I am all in! We are in the middle of a major health crisis that is worse than the Covid-19 pandemic. It can take 1-3 hours for an ambulance to offload at the ER. I want to be part of anything that will keep people in their homes that do not need to be in the ER”- PJ Keeler, Columbia County EMS Coordinator
The Pilot Program is currently seeking county residents who need assistance with care at home, and caregivers struggling with providing that care to aging family members.
Anyone interested can call 877-730-9666 for more information, or visit our website at www.EverHomeColumbia.org, to sign up. From there, you will have an opportunity to meet with a professional Life Care Coordinator (LCC) who will come to your home and prepare a care plan based upon a comprehensive assessment. There is no cost or obligation for the assessment, and if you choose to participate your LCC will then take the next steps to put the plan into motion.
HOW THE PILOT WORKS
Following the initial assessment, your LCC will review the plan with you and each of the family members that wish to be involved – whether in Columbia County or around the world. The plan will include recommendations for care in the home, which the LCC and “Responsible Family Members” will monitor using the new tool that makes this all possible – the VivaLynx app. Vivalynx, LLC has developed the proprietary app to give care recipients, care givers and the providers of care the ability to communicate with their LCC, doctor, hospital, home health aids, transportation services and each other, using a virtual platform that is operated under the careful supervision of the LCC.
The App is integrated into the care plan of each Pilot participant, serving as a “Swiss Army Knife” for home health care.
Although technology and seniors are said to be like oil and water, the VivaLynx App makes it simple. The hardware and software used in the home are “hands-free” for the senior, and the mobile app allows fully integrated communication, and service delivery, under the supervision of the LCC and Responsible Family Members. Imagine technology that not only detects a fall, but predicts it, using sensors, cameras and Artificial Intelligence through a Wellness Program delivered and monitored by Alarm.com. If a fall or other medical emergency does occur, it can be immediately triaged by an Emergency Department Physician provided by UCM Digital Health, through the 17-inch touch screen provided by GrandCare. That touch screen is also used for family video conferences, on-line education, and for those in the home administering the care plan (family members, home health aids, etc.) to track medications, nutrition, socialization and other data that is gathered by the app and transmitted to the LCC, family members and providers.
The sensors, cameras, touchscreen and other tools are on the job 24×7 in the home, providing family caregivers, LCC’s, and other approved providers vital information through the App on a phone, tablet or PC. If a situation arises, help is immediately available through the LCC, and it can go all the way up to a telemedicine visit from an ER physician on call any time of day or night. For the children and caregivers of elders and disabled individuals needing care at home, this new technology platform will save them time, money, guilt, frustration, jobs and relationships, the true costs of caregiving, and it could not come soon enough.
Sound futuristic? The advances in Artificial Intelligence are moving us faster and faster into a virtual reality, but until now home health care has been mired in the stone age. Through the generosity of the Home for the Aged and the other participants in the Pilot, this unique opportunity offers Columbia County an ability to be light years ahead in transforming bricks and mortar into virtual homes that last a lifetime. The Pilot runs now through July 1, 2023, or a total of 18 months. For those that can afford to pay privately, all of the services and technology described above – a dedicated Care Coordinator, ER telemedicine, sensors and cameras to track and promote wellness, the 17” touchscreen to implement the care plan and allow hands-free video conferencing, and more – are available now for $12 per day (there may be a charge for certain hardware depending on the care plan). For those that need help paying for the Pilot technology and services, HFA has generously provided funds to pay all or part of the costs for eligible participants, and Pilot staff will walk you through the application process. Simply call 877-730-9666.