Samaritas, one of Michigan’s largest faith-based health and human services nonprofit organizations and a leader in senior care for more than 40 years, announced a partnership with Netherlands-based 1Minuut to introduce assisted reality to care for older adults with dementia. The Samaritas Caregiver Accessible Resources Education Services (C.A.R.E.S.) Program is delivered for the first time using Glass Enterprise Edition 2 (Glass is a small, lightweight non-medical wearable device with a glanceable display for hands-free work), together with 1Minuut’s Genzõ app, to securely connect caregivers at home with specially-trained professionals and increase dementia care skills for elder care providers to improve health and quality of life and ease the day-to-day care stress. Genzo will run on Google Cloud.
This is the first time these two assisted reality innovations have been used together for dementia care anywhere in the United States. Samaritas and its tech partners believe it will help extend the time older adults with dementia can live at home with loved ones by allowing family caregivers to communicate in real-time, with real view, so a professional off-site can see and hear what the caregiver sees and hears, providing instant support and advice on everything from behavioral challenges to home safety.
“To fulfill our mission and our commitment to seniors, Samaritas has reached across the globe for the benefit of Michigan families,” said Sam Beals, CEO of Samaritas. “We established the Samaritas C.A.R.E.S. Program to meet the needs of older adults living with dementia now and in the future by training loved ones and elder care providers. We focus on what they can do and enjoy, not what they’ve lost, which also helps reduce stress and burnout.”
Projections indicate continued growth in the senior population over the next 20 years and a correlating increase in dementia care needs. Adults with a dementia diagnosis are at risk for experiencing difficulties communicating and performing personal care; increased instances of depression, social isolation, and self-harm; and significant disorientation and loss of sense of direction. However, coupled with these complex needs is an expected shortage of caregivers to meet demand. The Samaritas C.A.R.E.S. Program addresses global lack of innovative caregiver training, for both professional and family caregivers, by taking a new step toward industry leadership in a certified, patient-focused, dementia-capable care program.
“Our goal is to support caregivers to assist older adults at home to maintain their independence as long as possible, while also reducing daunting health care costs, in a way that’s more accessible than ever,” added Beals.
Genzõ is an all-in-one health care communication app, developed by 1Minuut, that is double encrypted to securely enable chat and video calling through Glass Enterprise Edition 2. C.A.R.E.S.-trained and certified Samaritas specialists coach professional and family caregivers of older adults with dementia directly from the caregivers’ perspective with the built-in camera on the wearable Glass device, facilitated by the Genzõ app. Real-time, step-by-step support for common and complex challenges caused by dementia helps reduce caregiver stress and burden, while improving health outcomes and quality of life for older adults with dementia.
“In the Netherlands, we have seen and proven how innovative technical solutions, like the pairing of Genzõ with Glass, has transformed the quality of elder care in complex medical situations,” said Martijn de Groot, co-owner of 1Minuut. “It makes me proud that we are making a difference and that with Samaritas and Google we have the potential to now create real solutions to improve dementia care.”
The Michigan Health Endowment Fund provided a grant of nearly $500,000 to support training, program operation and purchase of technology to offer professional and family caregivers access to the C.A.R.E.S. Program at no cost during the pilot phase, which is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2021 in Grand Rapids before expanding to other cities throughout the state. The Health Fund works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of healthcare, with a special focus on children and seniors.
To learn more about Samaritas and its services, visit Samaritas.org
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NIEUWS – 10 juni 2021