A simple In-home assessment can bring to light what is needed to keep our loved ones safe and healthy. Compliance is a serious issue and the World Health Organization has determined that adherence to therapy for chronic illnesses is about 50% in developed countries. What can we do about non-compliance? Educate, Evaluate, Eliminate.
Education can be achieved through a thoughtful in-home assessment that includes a holistic approach to the person’s life. Evaluating nutrition is a huge factor so we must ask about eating habits. How often do our loved ones reach into the refrigerator for healthy snacks instead of ordering in fast food? How often is the refrigerator cleaned out and expired food Eliminated?
Once baselines are established through an in-home assessment, a simple door sensor can be placed on the refrigerator so the Circle of Care knows if their loved one tried to eat or not. The in-home assessment can determine education needed about throw-rugs, electric cords, extra furniture and other fall hazards. There is also an evaluation of how each piece of furniture is used and if some can be eliminated. Education about lighting throughout the living space can lead to the evaluation of bathroom habits. Additional lighting can illuminate pathways to the bathroom at night, which can lead to the elimination of falls. Education about bathroom habits leads to evaluating how hydration plays an important role in eliminating Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), which can be a result of dehydration. The person may be afraid to drink more because they don’t want to fall on the way to the bathroom at night because it is dark. If bathroom baselines are understood, a simple motion sensor can be placed in the bathroom to notify the Circle of Care if their loved one visited the bathroom more than normal. Do they have food poisoning, a UTI? Education about the need for daily weight readings with a CHF patient leads to evaluating fluid retention, a critical indicator of deteriorating health. A weight scale connected to a central hub that can alert the Circle of Care about threshold breaches can eliminate ER visits and potential hospitalizations or re-admits.
The in-home assessment can lead to uncovering what each individual actually needs in the home. By taking a deeper look at each seniors’ specific situation, we begin to understand the root of compliance issues and gain the ability to provide help on an entirely new level.