The care industry is an essential to many that rely on the endless services. In recent years there have been controversial news coverage regarding the issues in care homes. This includes rising costs and difficulties maintaining a high level of care with limited budgets.
The government’s social care spending budget is nowhere near high enough to fund the needs of an aging population. The number of places in care homes is falling year on year and many elderly people are being forced to sell their homes to pay for a room in a care facility. Care workers are often not paid enough for the hard work they do, so the sector finds it hard to retain quality employees. Staff turnover is high and administering clients can become a nightmare for care providers, as many processes and systems are paper-based. Carers don’t have time to spend with clients, because of increasing administration work, which makes it hard to offer any degree of quality care. This leads to a lack of engagement in the very place where a senior elderly person deserves extra care.
Care apps are part of sweeping new changes in the care sector. Investors have spotted that technology can make a real difference by streamlining administrative burdens and boosting care quality. Best of all, the service-users and carers in care homes using care apps have a much better experience. It’s a win-win for everyone.
What are care apps?
Apps are becoming an integral part of everyday life. Even seniors are now very familiar with apps such as Facebook, which they can use on tablets and smartphones. Care apps use technology in the same way to streamline the admin in a care home. They are used by front line carers, support workers and care managers to help seniors receive a better standard of care.
What do they do?
Care is increasingly being self-funded. Many people want to stay at home as long as possible, so they opt to pay for home carers to do personal care tasks such as washing, bathing, and helping them get dressed. It is common for some people to have carers visiting three times a day to help with meals, getting the client in and out of bed, and toilet duties. When that no longer works, they then move into care homes on the understanding that they will receive a higher level of continuous care.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Many carers are rushed off their feet. When back-office administration is burdensome, care can become disjointed. A carer might not have enough time to spend with a client or be told about a shift too late to make child-care arrangements. The lack of joined up thinking makes it hard for people in the care profession.
Using care management software like Log My Care makes it easy for carers and care managers to coordinate care delivery. The care manager can record what needs to be done for an individual client. They updates the app and when the carer checks the app, they will see a list of tasks to complete. Care managers can organise shifts well in advance and the carer can see their working week in advance.
Care apps streamline the admin and reduce unnecessary tasks that waste hours every week and reduce the time carers spend with a client. Care apps also track data, which makes it easier to see where improvements can be made.
How do the carers use them?
Care apps are very easy to use. The care team downloads the app for free and uses a smartphone or tablet as the recording tool for their job.
All information about a client is available at a swipe. Care plans can be stored in the cloud and to-do lists created in real time. Using an app makes it much easier for carers to do their job. Instead of juggling – and losing – vital paperwork, they can complete all their admin on one device. This saves a lot of time, which means they have extra time to take care of clients.
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits to using care apps in the social care industry. Time saved is a major benefit, as the extra time available in the working day can be spent with vulnerable clients. Instead of rushed care, carers can spend quality time with a client, chatting, taking care of personal tasks, and doing anything else logged on their task list. This extra time spent with a client is extremely important.
Because so much time is saved on administrative tasks, care agencies can afford to pay their staff more. This makes carer jobs more attractive, especially to students and single mothers who are well-placed to take on part-time hours.
In the long-term, local authorities will be more inclined to form working partnerships with care homes that embrace technology, as care outcomes will be easier to monitor. This means care apps are here to stay, which is a good thing for everyone, not least the clients.