Communal Living, Tech And Staffing: Addressing Baby Boomer Demands In Home Care

Home care providers know that the U.S. population is aging. It’s up to them to adjust, however, and be ready for the seniors they’ll be serving.

“The boomers are going to evolve and dictate how we live in later years,” Jisella Dolan, an advisor and consultant with Reverence Care, said during a webinar Thursday. “Retirement is going to be different. We all remember the show ‘Golden Girls.’ That’s going to become more of the norm. Communal living is going to come back in vogue and that’s what we’re seeing.”

Reverence is a New York-based digital home-based care coordination platform. The company’s core technology does what a scheduler would do and automates that work with a particular lens on filling difficult-to-cover shifts.


The company works with a number of different types of providers, including home health agencies, post-acute facilities and health systems.

When trying to predict future opportunities for home care providers, Dolan suggested paying attention to certain trends and looking outside of the box for potential partnerships. She herself is a veteran of Home Instead.

“Independent living and assisted living, as we’ve thought about it, is changing,” Dolan said. “Communal living where people are coming together to support each other creates an amazing opportunity for us in home care to work with those organizations and to ask ourselves, ‘How can we build this community together and how can home care support that?’”


Facility-based home care may not seem like a golden opportunity for home care providers, but as Dolan laid out, it’s expected to look a lot different in the future.

“There’s a great opportunity for us to do things like have one caregiver in a community where they are supporting 30 to 50 adults in one place,” Dolan said. “All of a sudden, you’ve unlocked capacity, your caregiver gets unique, interesting work. They’re busy, they’re getting hours and you are getting that revenue and the client base. You’ve also got [built-in] scale.”

To take advantage of any sweeping changes that may come to the long-term care continuum, home care providers also need to keep technology and staffing at top of mind, Dolan said.

One way home care leaders can ensure that certain technologies pair well with their service offerings is to be involved in the tech implementation process.

“It’s amazing to me when tech is developed without home care stakeholders in the room,” Dolan said. “There are so many examples of certain tools that were meant to support home care that failed because they were not integrated in a personal way that we’re used to. The cool thing is that we’re now seeing more and more of that happening, where technology companies and venture capital are moving into the space and are saying, ‘We need to listen to home care.’”

Home care leaders have a bigger seat at the table than they might think, Dolan said. Influential changes are coming to the space and in order for those changes to be successful, home care leaders should have a say in that.

On the staffing front, the key to success today — and in the future — is making caregivers feel respected and treated like a professional.

“What it really comes down to is agency choice,” Dolan said. “Caregivers want the freedom and the ability to say, ‘These are the hours I need to work,’ and then they get those hours. Raising wages is important, and so are benefits, but what caregivers really want is income security.”

Whether it’s scheduling caregivers with AI assistance or developing a career opportunity ladder, home care leaders should be thinking about the present and the future at the same time.

Or as Dolan put it: “having one eye on the microscope and one eye on the telescope.”

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