Taking a Holistic Service Approach for Consumer Direction
An Integration of Technology and Peer Support
Times are changing. With advancements in scientific knowledge and medical technology, seniors and people with disabilities are living longer, healthier, more active lives. With that comes the desire to be independent and in control of their lives. Control is entrenched in so much of what we do, but what we really seek is a sense of control. Look around and watch what people do. A significant portion of our everyday activity is related to achieving a needed sense of control.
At GSIL we believe in consumer choice, consumer empowerment in the purest sense of the words. We promote life with independence for individuals so they can navigate their lives and participate as fully as they choose in their communities just like everyone else. Consumer choice is more than just a catch-phrase.
We are dedicated to true consumer choice and committed to ensuring that individuals have the tools, technology and resources to fully participate in their lives and communities.
We provide people the opportunities to exercise choice and control over the most basic aspects of their daily lives. We understand that satisfaction comes from those who have a greater degree of ownership and direction over their lives and services they may receive.
Technology & Direct Care Workers
As we age, getting older is a time of social, emotional, mental and physical change. Technology offers a path to enhance a person’s ability to live their lives to the fullest. Technology can also help older adults stay active and independent as they age, and can benefit those who care for them with their activities of daily living.
Technology can also provide critical behavioral information and long-term trend data that caregivers need to improve the care, while at the same time identify opportunities for cost-savings.
Going back to the late 1990’s, there’s been much research and literature cited as to why the direct care worker shortage and the trend is continuing. High turnover and vacancy rates can have negative effects on providers, consumers and workers. Equally compelling is the cost of replacing home care workers. As the population of the baby boom generation ages, it most likely will translate into increased demand for home and community based services.
Industry leaders worry that with the majority of this aging population planning to remain in their home for as long as possible, there may not be enough direct care workers to satisfy the ever increasing need for in-home care in the near future.
At GSIL, our innovative models incorporate direct support care with sensor technology called Quiet Comfort to maximize safety and care within the home. Quiet Comforts’ unique combination of sensors can establish baseline norms for behavior to detect any changes in real time. This information gives family members and health professionals the opportunity to save thousands of dollars per person each year.
This technology collects clinical/behavioral data, which can assist health professionals in determining if additional services and support are needed.
The Power of Peer Mentoring
Peer Support is an Independent Living Center wrap-around service and incorporates core values important to most of us. We have trained Peer Mentor Coordinators who work with consumers to help them achieve their independent living goals. It supports a belief that each person matters to society as a whole.
Our new Peer Mentor Program focuses not only on information sharing, but education and skills training for consumers to manage their own services using a volunteer model managed by Peer Mentor Coordinators who are recipients of our services.
Today’s consumers face many challenges with the economy to recruit and retain personal care attendants, and the peer mentor program will provide additional support in all aspects of managing their services, based upon their own experience and GSIL support services.