Resident care assessments are among the most essential functions that any senior living facility performs. It is hard to overstate how critical these are because these evaluations form a road map for everything from how medicines are distributed to what kind of physical and occupational therapy services an individual needs. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to properly track and manage all the information that is included in a typical assessment. This is where senior care software can play a critical role not only in helping senior living operators collect data, but also in creating individualized care plans that are easily accessible by everyone involved in taking care of that resident.
Care assessments often collect information that often doesn’t fit neatly into predefined boxes. According to the Institute on Aging, care assessments are a “multi-disciplinary exercise that tests mental, physical, emotional, and psychological health, as well as assesses functionality, living conditions, socio-economic environment, social circles, family involvement, and everything else that goes into determining quality of life.” That’s a lot of data to collect, and while some of those parameters can easily be captured with numerical values, others are more subjective. It’s one thing to note medical care, but it’s more difficult to quantify how involved family members are in their day-to-day care or individual preferences that make for a more personalized and pleasant living experience.
Glennis allows users to customize the care assessment questions, which may vary depending on the kind of facility or whether the assessment is state-required or a pre-move in assessment. In addition, the kind of information gathered during assessments is often dependent on available community amenities and how the organization bills residents, whether that be levels, points or by time. Once all this data has been collected, the Glennis senior living software platform automatically generates a care plan with detailed task assignments that can be followed by on-site staff.
Traditionally, this information was gathered during in-person interviews with prospective residents and through reviews of earlier medical records and other assessments. And the dominant platform for this was a clipboard: resident care evaluators diligently took notes, and a physical file was created. Over the last 20 years there has been a migration to digitizing this information, but simply doing data entry from paper-based forms doesn’t really create better pathways to care. The most recent trend – and the one that is making a significant impact on quality of life – is the use of fully digital platforms that not only capture information from the very first interaction with the resident, but also make the information accessible to the people who need it every day. There is a massive difference between storing information on a computer and true digital transformation. The type of information that’s collected is also critical to creating caring relationships with residents. The best senior living communities go far beyond basic needs in their assessments, gathering information about personal preferences, housekeeping requests, family members, interests and more.
Let’s look at one of the most common situations facing people living in senior living communities: a lack of family members living in the immediate vicinity. Because of the nature of our mobile population, it is increasingly common for adult children to live far away from their parents. This can become problematic because a feeling of isolation can create a cascade of emotional and physical health problems. By including information like this in an assessment, staff can take particular care to ensure that residents are being included in community activities and are receiving regular visitors even when relatives aren’t available. Similarly, resident profiles should also include background information and interests, such as pets, hobbies, and previous occupation. This allows staff members to help cultivate friendships among residents with similar interests and backgrounds.
In a paper-based system, it is likely that a lack of relatives in the area would be noted, but there wouldn’t necessarily be an action plan to supply special aid for residents who were at risk of isolation. Nor does paper make it easy to find and connect residents who have similar interests. (Read more about how Glennis connects residents with the Resident Match feature.)Thanks to modern technologies, however, this information is included in day-to-day care plans so that employees can supply the extra levels of human contact that makes such a significant difference when it comes to health outcomes.
At the same time, those family members who may not live nearby, still want to know how their loved one is faring and being cared for. The Glennis Family App provides details about a resident’s daily activities and care. From meal attendance to activities to health updates, family members can check on their loved one anytime, from anywhere. From automated resident matching to the family app, Glennis Solutions provides a critical bridge to helping residents have a positive, fulfilling experience.
Tracking medical data is fairly straightforward, but many of the elements that are included in a care assessment can’t be easily tied to specific actions. By embracing the next generation of care assessments, senior living providers can use the data that they collect to radically improve care and the living experience for their residents.
To find out more about how Glennis has perfected care assessments and service plans to deliver a better holistic experience for residents check out our video below. Or schedule a personalized demo and we’ll give you a first-hand look at care assessments, task scheduling, mobile incident reporting, and more.