7 Companies Looking Out For Seniors

Baby Boomers account for a significant portion of our current population and we will continue to have seniors into our futures. Many established businesses and new startups are recognizing the lack of support and representation for senior citizens and their caregivers or families.

The following 7 companies put seniors first, building a product to help the day to day life of a senior. Take a look at their website … who knows, this might be a service you’ve been looking for, for a loved one.

  1. Seniors without walls

    Senior Center Without Walls began in 2004 with the goal of providing a community for isolated seniors. What started with two groups and eight seniors has grown into a program that reaches approximately 1000 seniors throughout the United States. Seniors participate in groups via telephone and computer from the comfort of their own homes.

    Website: https://www.seniorcenterwithoutwalls.org/

  2. Safety Labs.org

    Safety Labs, an Ottawa-based company, was created with a single objective – to provide a cost-effective safety solution that is accessible to everyone, everywhere.
    Thus, Safety Labs created Anchor–a safety platform that is capable of growing in intelligence, safety benefits, and comprehensiveness. Anchor provides a cost-effective, simple and comprehensive health and safety solution by making use of existing technologies that you already use every day. Using Internet connectivity, smartphones and ubiquitous cloud servers and wireless technologies, Anchor provides you and your loved ones with continuous safety by integrating seamlessly into your daily life.

    Website: https://safetylabs.org/

  3. Stitch

    Stitch was started two years ago by Andrew Dowling and Marcie Rogo to address social isolation among older adults. The site, which now has 50,000 members in 50 cities worldwide, connects boomers and seniors so they can socialize, travel, make friends and find companions. It’s based on a subscription service which costs $80 per year or $15 per month.

    Website: https://www.stitch.net/

  4. AgeWell Biometrics

    The startup uses wearables and sensors to detect the risk of a person falling, said Joshua Wies. The app-based system alerts a person and healthcare professionals to potential risks of falls. The data can then be used to take action to prevent falls.

    Website: http://agewellbiometrics.com/

     

  5. Senior Move Success

    This company helps seniors move into assisted living or independent housing where they can age in place. Founder Caryl Siems said the company has 16 employees, and the company is founded on a commitment to understanding senior’s needs. “Perhaps the most important thing we do is listen,” Siems said.

    Website: http://www.seniorsmoving.com/

  6. Friendly Beds

    For many people just getting in or out of bed (and repositioning in bed) is their biggest mobility challenge and our Friendly Bed system can be the perfect solution. Friendly Beds are ideal for the mobility issues of Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, stroke, neuropathy, frailty, etc. – offering individuals with a reasonable level of independence and ability to maintain that independence as long as possible. Friendly Beds offer increased independence and critical assistance to elderly and disabled people. These beds are affordable solutions for keeping yourself, or someone you love, safe at home as long as possible (also applies to independent and assisted living).
    Website: https://www.billrayhomemobility.com/friendly-beds

     

    & last but definitely not least …

  7. ContinYou Care

    Of course, we couldn’t have a post about senior care without including our services for seniors. We offer a meal service management platform and analytics tool built to help healthcare staff better serve patients and home care residents. ContinYou Care allows seniors to have control and input into the food and meal plan they have whilst taking into consideration their dietary restrictions and personal preferences.

    Features include;
    – Reduced wait times
    – Meal Preferences
    – Dietary and Nutrition Alerts
    – Multilingual Solution

    Website: http://continyoucare.com/

     

These companies all focus on senior care and have made that a priority. We love seeing companies do good while giving back to the community. Thank you to all of these companies for the difference you make in everyone’s life.

Thank you!

Could Nutrient-Rich Diets Lead to Improved Senior functionality?

Living a healthy life starts with a healthy diet. Although we should always be considering what we put into our bodies, seniors should be extra cautious and aware. Many processed and prepared foods come with a heavy amount of sodium and chemicals that can trigger reactions and lead to many bigger issues.

Why would sodium be bad for seniors?

Well, simply put too much sodium isn’t really good for anyone. Sodium can put a strain on the heart leading to increased blood pressure. For many seniors blood pressure is already a common issue and putting any additional strain on the heart will lower other vital body functions.

Increased sodium can also contribute to significant dehydration. What seniors really need more of in their diets is healthy fibres and green vegetables which help the body continue to hydrate and process other meats and dairy.

Greens are also full of significant vitamins and minerals that are very important to keep the mind, heart and body fully functioning. In cases where seniors experience weakness or lowered ability to comprehend, a proper diet can increase natural support of strength.
Senior Homes & LTCs are rapidly losing the ability to offer fresh produce and well-prepared meals and snacks. The idea is that if the body is fueled properly, its immunity will be strong and fight against the common deficiencies that seniors experience. With higher functionality, the quality of life for seniors can increase significantly.
A 2013 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that older adults with a high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish have better physical function and general health than their counterparts who consume less nutritious food.
By providing healthy options that meet important dietary restrictions will give seniors a higher chance of feeling stronger, living longer and keeping them away from the harmful triggers of depression and dysfunctionality. According to Health Line, 6% of seniors are affected by chronic depression which is brought on and increased by physical/functional limitations.

If your loved ones are experiencing a significant decrease in mobility and basic functions, consider starting with an improved diet and be sure to get in contact with a dietitian.

Seniors & Isolation – why we need to spend time with our elders!

 

Isolation and loneliness are not new when it comes to the senior demographic, but it’s not talked about enough. There are a number of factors which have contributed to a proliferation of this, especially in North America.

 

We recently came across an article which highlighted a very heartbreaking story about a 90-year old woman seeking friendship (read more here).

In this particular story, the woman reaches out to her neighbour in an attempt to find some kind of human contact by leaving a note for her neighbour. The neighbour, Marleen Brooks of Missouri, came home to this heartbreaking note from her neighbour. Her senior neighbour from down the street had mentioned that she was lonely and was looking for some friends.

It is disheartening that this elderly woman felt like she wasn’t able to approach her neighbours in a face-to-face conversation to discuss this. She may have been shy or even afraid to approach others, but this interaction shows how lonely she must have been to find human contact.

According to the Government of Canada Website, social isolation can result in reduced social skills. For example, seniors “who develop depression, social anxiety, loneliness, alcoholism, and schizophrenia tend to become socially isolated and uncomfortable around other people.”

In this particular case, the neighbour she reached out to was overjoyed that this elderly woman, Wanda, wanted to be her friend. She even went to visit her with cupcakes and they took a selfie together which she shares on her Facebook.

Wanda was ecstatic that her neighbour actually took the effort to spend meaningful time with her and says, “I hope you didn’t think I was stupid for writing you, but I had to do something. Thank you so much for coming over. I’ve lived here for 50 years and don’t know any of my neighbours.”

The lesson that was left with our team was – regardless of how busy you are, make time for others. There are people out there, including our own family members (especially the elderly) who really value a social connection with those around them. What may be a small block of time in your week may be priceless act of generosity for someone like Susan.

Senior Care Changes from the Wettlaufer Tragedy

 

For anyone who missed it, earlier this year a tragic act of misconduct was performed by a former Ontario nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer. Wettlaufer recently pleads guilty to 8 charges of killing senior citizens in her care. You can watch her full confessional here.

 

For obvious reasons, this case has been very concerning to our team and those within the retirement and long-term care industry. There have been many rumours of misconduct in the past, but nothing so extreme! This raises a number of concerns for not only the safety of our staff and providers but the residents’ needs being met with their well-being in mind.

 

In Wettlaufer’s recent plead, she mentioned that one of her patients, on the evening of their passing had “asked to be put in the death bed”. Wettlaufer insists that this is what the patient asked for and after discussing the matter with another nurse, it was decided that if this is what the patient wanted, they would comply with their wishes. The issue here was that at no point did either nurse or anyone on staff look into the written wishes of the patient (which would have been made in a better frame of mind) or with any other higher authority on staff. Wettlaufer also explains in her confession that she “didn’t intend for the patient to die, I was just angry and wanted her to stop”.

 

On August 1, 2017, it was announced through a press release from the Government of Ontario that an official Public inquiry into the safety and security of the Long-Term Care Homes System has been accepted. This inquiry will include a variety of areas of investigation and questioning into basic health and safety needs being met as well as security and reasonable treatment.

 

This inquiry will be lead by recently appointed Honourable Justice Eileen Gillese who is an experienced judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal. Justice Gillese has been asked specifically to inquire into the circumstances and systematic issues which may have contributed to the assault and death of residents who were under the care of Elizabeth Wettlaufer. This inquiry will help sort out the answers to make sure a tragedy like this never happens again.

 

As part of the mandate, Justice Gillese will review accountability measures and how they align with the objective of Long-Term Care Facilities. Justice Gillese will also provide recommendations to improve the safety and well being of residents.

 

Part of our hope with this Inquiry is to also bring attention the lack of emphasis on Senior and Long-Term care patient nutrition. In a previous post we touched on the fact that currently, Ontario prisoners receive a significantly higher nutrition budget as well as receiving fresh fruit and produce as part of their daily diet.

 

We should expect a final report, including all recommendations by July 31st, 2019.

“I am honoured to have been chosen to head this very important Inquiry dealing with matters that affect the lives of all those in long-term care homes in Ontario. My team and I will do our utmost to determine how these events could occur and to make recommendations to that the tragedies of the past are not repeated in the future.” – Eileen Gillese, Commissioner of the Inquiry into the Safety and Security of the Long-Term Care Homes System.

Fighting Against Ageism

 

Ageism is defined as prejudice or discrimination on the basis of a person’s age. When it comes to seniors, ageism can be more prominent when compared to the younger generation, nevertheless, a lot of opportunities live within the older generation that should not be overlooked. 

Technology changes on a daily basis. Even industry experts can feel overwhelmed or out of the loop when it comes to understanding the newest features and releases but it’s adapting them to the older generations which prove to be the most challenging.

 

Thomas Wellner is president and CEO of Revera Inc. and he believes “Seniors, healthier and living longer than ever before, are a growing and remarkably diverse market, as well as a highly experienced talent pool.” Wellner continues with:

“Today’s older adults also represent, somewhat ironically, a new employee demographic that businesses have yet to value. In my experience working with seniors— and I have a fair bit, given that more than 500 people over age 65 work in the company I lead, and our oldest employee, chief elder officer Hazel McCallion, is 96 — they bring enthusiasm, experience, knowledge, and loyalty to their jobs.”

Wellner raises some very interesting points in this article. Some of the exact reasons many companies and businesses overlook the senior market as candidates are the reasons they should actually be considering them. A big factor Wellner mentions is the “Knowledge and Loyalty to their jobs”. Having an employee with skills and moral values that cannot necessarily be taught in a training room can sometimes far exceed some extra training that may be required on the technology side.

 

Seniors are also excellent candidates because of their enthusiasm. Some technology based positions may involve what younger generations would consider mundane tasks, but the excitement and passion a senior possesses when honing in on new skills cannot be surpassed.

 

According to recent research, “ageism is Canada’s most tolerated form of social discrimination. It’s at the heart of every assumption we make about seniors as customers and as workers. Tackling ageism means taking a hard look at our own attitudes and organizational cultures, then taking tangible steps to address it.”

 

Since the baby boomers still consume a very large portion of our population, it would seem a complete shame to pass up offering and encouraging opportunities simply based on age and a slight gap in technological knowledge. Especially, when developing applications designed for seniors, include seniors in the feedback process as they have insights that shouldn’t be overlooked by other stakeholders.

 

For us, the seniors that we encounter in our homes have shown a great interest in exploring new opportunities and bridging the learning gap to become a more active participant in the ever-changing world around them.  The Continyou Care solution was built with the intent to help improve the experience of seniors at homes while making it a very user-friendly for them so that they understand its purpose.  Building user-friendly applications are crucial to inclusion across generations.


This article is in response to: Fighting ageism to unlock seniors’ potential in your business on the Globe and Mail

ContinYou Care’s Newest Client: Richmond Hill Retirement Residence (Verve Senior Living)

 

We are excited to announce the newest addition to our list of clients, Richmond Hill Retirement Residence (part of the Verve Senior Living brand).

Richmond Hill Retirement Residence is a facility located in Richmond Hill, Ontario, just north of Toronto. The facility currently has 158 residents, 1 large dining room and 5 servers on staff on an average day.

 

“Richmond Hill Retirement Residence required an integrated solution that would improve their residents overall dining experience and their staff’s ability to manage, track and share related information.”

The home was rotating a 6-week menu cycle which consisted of 3 different menus which included printed menus, handwritten orders, and receipts while resident information (allergen and food preferences) was maintained in a spreadsheet in a binder. The manual process of collecting senior resident nutrition data was inefficient because of issues like wasted paper, mistakes with food orders, delays, inaccurate reports and limited access to reports for staff.

 

The Solution:

Implementing the Continyou Care food management platform become the optimal solution for the process in place at the home. Continyou Care is a food order management platform with POS functionality that allow staff to easily and efficiently process resident orders and track billing. It includes features such as “Bill to Resident” for any guests who were dining or having a drink at the bar.

“Through the use of the Continyou Care solution, staff are able to easily take resident orders, easily manage census, resident info, menu cycle, and initiate billing while also improving their ability to generate and share real-time reports via a secure cloud-based solution.” – says Mike Ardianto (Director, Business Development at Continyou Care).

 

 

Richmond Hill Retirement Residence has seen a significant improvement in the efficiency of ordering, servicing and tracking. Management is able to see trends and forecast order details which allow for proper inventory of ingredients as well as being able to bring in fresh produce and meats. Some of the other benefits as noted by the Richmond Hill Retirement Residence are as follows:

  • Increased efficiency and staff engagement.
  • Standardized processes related to food services and census that establish accountability among staff.
  • Manage resident profile and menu cycle in a secure centralized location that can be easily scalable.
  • Integrated POS/resident management solution that enables homes to streamline resident billing from the bistro, dining and room service.
  • Reduce wastage through accurate forecasting based on residents dining history.
  • Reduce redundancies and manual errors to ensure the well-being of its residents.
  • Displays resident allergens on the chit printed in the kitchen.

 

The Continyou Care team is excited to be implementing our solution at more Verve Senior Homes over the next year.

Continyou Care is a secure and scalable platform that allows homes like the Richmond Hill Retirement Residence to focus on running their operations while we take care of their technology needs. Our vision is to change the way homes look at meal services and improving the quality of life for everyone involved in the process, including residents, staff and management.

 

Continyou Care is the Point-of-Sale (POS) of the future for senior homes and long-term care facilities. If you’re interested in learning about how Continyou Care can be a great technology partner for your home, please email us at info@intelligotek.com.

How Senior Choice in Nutrition Can Assist in Coping with Dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s society of Canada, “Nutrition can influence our risk of developing dementia and our chances of ‘living well with dementia’ if diagnosed with the disease.” Factors which play into the importance of senior nutrition are healthy brain development earlier in life, obesity in midlife, long term gradual weight loss and difficulty in maintaining regular diet.

 

Healthy Brain Development

It is really important for those who have significant cases of dementia or early onset Alzheimer’s to be cautious of the diet they have and the lifestyle they lead. Having and developing a healthy brain can assist in preventing dementia and its effects in later life. Keeping the brain strong will assist in maintaining cognizant functions.

 

Obesity in Midlife

Carrying extra and unnecessary weight can put a lot of stress on the brain and heart as well as other crucial organs which can cause them to have delays and underperformance. Part of a healthy brain is constant and healthy blood being transferred to the brain. With stress put on the heart because of extra fat, the under performance of the heart can affect the blood fluidity and therefore lower the effectiveness of the brain’s commands. Nutrition can be a significant factor in maintaining an acceptable weight for body measurements and provide less stress and inflammation around the heart and lungs.

 

Long term gradual body mass decrease.

Dementia can be developing and onset as early as 20-30 years before noticeable symptoms are detected. Part of dementia developing is a gradual (usually at least a decade) of gradual weight loss and body mass decrease. Proper nutrition will assist in keeping bones strong and the body fueled with energy as the decline becomes more rapid.

 

Maintaining a diet with dementia can be difficult

A significant aspect of Dementia is the memory loss. Remembering when you last ate or when to eat at all is not something that is easily triggered. Without proper maintenance, some dementia sufferers can go through hours or even days without eating a proper nutritious meal. Without the proper diet, lowered cognitive functions and brain stimulation can contribute to other health issues or physical delays in movement and speech.

 

ContinYou Care is really focused on making life with late life diseases as cope-able as possible. Regulating meal times and including residents of Long Term Care Facilities in the process of choosing foods may also increase their ability to consume at all. For many, taste and palette is very important to what they will and will not eat. With such a delicate disease as dementia can make a person, skipping meals due to distaste could be eliminated.

3 Reasons Why Senior Nutrition Should Matter to YOU

 
Nutrition should be something that matters in your own life, for various reasons, but it should also matter that seniors are getting or receiving proper, nutritious meals and programs. Here are 3 reasons senior nutrition should matter to you.
 

Required Medications

According to NCOA, approximately 92% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at least two. Four chronic diseases—heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes—cause almost two-thirds of all deaths each year. Because of these diseases and illnesses, many seniors are required to take medication on a regular basis at regulated times. Many of these medications are supposed to be taken with something in their stomachs. Providing proper nutrition is also crucial to ensuring that any of the side effects of certain medications are met with nourishing meals.
 

Lowered Immune Stability

As we all get older our immune systems begin to fight a tougher fight. Add in a few other medical complications and your body is not only fighting age but beginning to fight itself. Ensuring a proper diet, especially when most are not able to be as physically active. Maintaining a healthy immune system as a senior can also assist in preventing common colds and illness which can lead to difficult recoveries from treatments and any minor or major surgeries that may be required for them.
 

Seniors Matter Too

Just because they are the older ones in the class doesn’t mean that seniors don’t matter. As we age we also may need to rely on those around us in order to cook and shop for appropriate meals. Being in long-term care facilities can also limit the control seniors may have over the types of food they are served and when. Caring about seniors especially those closest to you means you can make sure they continue to thrive as they age.

 
ContinYou Care is dedicated to improving the user experience and meal programs in long-term care facilities. Senior healthcare and proper nutrition are our top priority.

Why Tech Companies & the Healthcare Industry CAN Go Hand-in-Hand

 

Like most tech companies, Continyou Care was founded with the idea that it would solve an issue that currently exists in the world by revolutionizing current processes via a new technology.

 

We identified a niche area where we felt we could truly make an impact for the better while also maintaining a successful for-profit business model. However, the industry we service is somewhat taboo in the tech space due to the red tape that often blocks or slows down innovative companies. The healthcare industry tends to be viewed from a skeptical and negative perspective by a majority of the innovators within the tech industry – an issue that is covered by this Fast Company article. The article points out that the healthcare industry is not an area for fast and prosperous growth – two factors that tech innovators often use to measure their success. The same can be said for the reverse, as the article points out, the health care sector has been apprehensive in the past about new tech companies getting involved in their domain due to its complexity. And this is fair enough when you take a look at the tech startups that have shot to success over the recent years, it’s almost astonishing to comprehend how quickly they would have had to build their company and processes in order to keep up with their own success. And in an industry like healthcare, where the consumers at the end of the day are real life people, often with debilitating illnesses, you can’t have companies just jump on the bandwagon for the ride to a quick profit – you need companies that actually care in order for the ‘care’ part of the healthcare industry to remain stable.

At Continyou Care, we like to believe that this is exactly the type of principle that our product and company is founded on.

The Continyou Care platform is fully intended to help revolutionize the way long-term care homes function with the end goal of providing better care for those living in them. Our tech product targets the meal ordering system – a process that has been archaic in most homes for quite some time. By integrating technology into this process residents are able to custom order their meals via the Continyou Care app on a tablet that staff bring around during the day, ensuring that all dietary needs are met. The technology also simplifies how orders make their way into the kitchen – chefs are then able to use the information they receive well in advance to ensure that the meal is cooked to order and also on time so residents are not left waiting. It might seem relatively simple when it’s broken down like this, but this is just one of many niche issues within the healthcare industry that can be improved by technology yet are often overlooked due to the negative association with slow growth and slow profit. While the growth of Continyou Care might not be exponential immediately, and the industry we’re working in is complex – every long-term care home is different from the next – we truly believe that the growth and success to be achieved in the long term will be worth it if the quality of life for residents in these homes is improved.

 

At the end of the Fast Company article, fellow healthcare entrepreneur David Vivero is quoted saying, “Start with empathy, and a desire to get it right for each individual user.” We could not agree more and encourage all aspiring tech innovators in this industry to follow the same guideline – at the end of the day, the financial success may not be as quick and the growth may not be ‘hyper’, but the long term result will be impactful for the better, for both your company and those you are trying to help.

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