Aging in Place
According to the CDC, many older adults want to "age in place" – meaning, stay in their own homes as they get older. Although older adults hope to successfully age in place, they face the realities of living with one or more chronic conditions while living on their own. The National Council of Aging reports that approximately 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% of Medicare beneficiaries have at least two.
Aging in place becomes more challenging when one is near the end of life. Stanford School of Medicine highlights that 80% percent of Americans say they would like to die at home. However, about 60% of Americans ultimately pass away in hospitals, with 20% spending their final days in an ICU.
Role of Home Health in Healthy Aging
Home health agencies are helping patients with “healthy aging” in place by deploying health, wellness, and prevention strategies are needed to promote the health and independence of older adults who are at a much higher risk for functional and cognitive impairments. As the CDC points out, older adults are empowered when they have the information, resources, ability, supports, and motivation to make choices for themselves. When this happens, they are able to take an active role in improving their health.
Role of Virtual Care in Helping Patients Age in Place
Home health agencies are using Synzi’s virtual care communication platform to enable successful aging in place. With a combination of HIPAA-compliant secure messaging, condition-specific emails/texts and video-based virtual visits, home health providers are providing better – and more timely care – to their at-risk / at-home patients with chronic conditions.
Synzi’s platform helps home health agencies regularly check-in with their patients, discuss their current health status, and provide ongoing social and emotional support. With Synzi, agencies are also programming an automatic cascade of messages such as flu shot reminders and condition-specific guidance. The combination of virtual visits and messaging is driving better patient engagement, adherence and outcomes.
With Synzi’s platform, an agency’s administrator can also assess each patient’s level of interaction with each communication and the cadence of touchpoints. As needed, the administrator has the flexibility to adjust the compliance messaging to better engage (or re-engage) the patient. If there are concerns about non-compliance, the home health agency can decide if a more immediate intervention (e.g., call, in-home visit, or transfer to the ED) is necessary.
Home health agencies are using Synzi’s platform for impactful touchpoints which prevent unnecessary and costly rehospitalizations while improve the quality of life.