Advancements in technology are paving the way for individuals with disabilities to live more independently. Remote monitoring services are an example of an emerging service that combines technology and direct care to support people with disabilities.
Using two-way communication in real time, including home-based sensors, cameras and other technologies, this new system provides a less invasive means of monitoring while responding to the needs of people with disabilities living in the community. Solutions include cooking safety, overnight monitoring, medication adherence, fall detection and visitor monitoring.
An added bonus, remote support makes it possible for direct care providers to support individuals with disabilities in their home at a reduced cost. Remote monitoring in many states is a Medicaid service, which means Medicaid will cover the cost of the equipment and maintenance. The technology also has the potential to save the state quite a bit money. According to the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, a full-time staff member can cost the state $145,000 annually, but that is pared to $45,000 with remote monitoring supplemented by humans.
It is important to note that Direct Service Professionals (DSPs) are not being displaced by this technology. In fact, this service fills a void. As DSP positions become increasingly harder to fill, in part because of historically low wages, this technology gives providers the opportunity to do their job more efficiently, while allowing a more independent lifestyle for people with disabilities.
Scioto understands the importance of independent living and that is why we are proud to assist providers to install systems as part of the home purchase process and roll the expense into the rent. Smart sensor technology maximizes independent living by offering cost-effective alternatives to “just in case” 24/7 monitoring while also gathering real-time data that provides invaluable insight for future planning.
Remote monitoring services afford care providers and family members the opportunity to ensure that their loved ones are safe and secure at all times, without harming their privacy or individuality. Scioto is excited to be at the forefront of this service and will be attending the Disability Cocoon Tech Festival this fall to learn more. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future of independent living. We hope to see you there.
Mary Bea Eaton is CEO of Scioto Properties – a nationwide provider of real estate for organizations that support individuals with disabilities. Scioto is a proud ANCOR Gold partner. Visit www.scioto.com.