The 3 Highest Risk Medicines in Assisted Living Communities

High Risk MedicinesA data base sampling of 5 Boise Assisted Living (AL) communities indicates that of all the prescribed medicines that residents take, those for pain, depression, and anxiety are associated with the highest risk for failing health.  Residents taking any of these medications would benefit from a PRO-active approach of increased observation and supervision by all AL employees.

Here’s a 4 question test:  In YOUR Assisted Living Community…

  1. How many different prescribed medicines are taken by the average resident?
  2. What are the most common prescribed medicines taken by YOUR residents?
  3. What is the percentage of YOUR residents who take HIGH RISK medicines?
  4. If an employee suspects a resident as having an adverse reaction to a medication, what system do you have in place that will cause immediate intervention and prevent potential loss of that resident to an ER or hospital?

Let’s pretend we gave this test anonymously to the owner, administrator, marketer, nurse, and to 2 aides of YOUR AL.  I think you might agree that most of these 6 individuals would probably have to take their best guess for their answers.  And as a result, out of the 6 people who took the test, we would probably get 6 different guesses as answers for each question.

Here’s the problem with this very realistic scenario:  Guessing Costs Money.

Unfamiliarity with important healthcare facts about YOUR AL residents, and a passive approach to addressing their healthcare needs, leads to unnecessary resident turnover.  The ER, hospital, and nursing home are NOT acceptable answers to preventable and potentially treatable healthcare problems discovered in an AL.

Every AL has a large storehouse of healthcare and demographic information.  But this data base is so large and often so disorganized that a substantial amount of crucial and extremely useful knowledge remains hidden, never used.  This is knowledge that could help AL owners, administrators, and employees to improve resident health management , reduce resident turnover, and save thousands of dollars every month.

Data base analytics are an integral part of most successful industries.  This approach has not been widely adopted by ALs but has now become available.  Questions such as those above and many more are easily answered in real time. Sophisticated software allows important and actionable knowledge about each AL to be retrieved that will lead to improvements in residents’ healthcare and an AL’s bottom line.

Critical Insight Revealed by Data Mining Your Retirement Community

data mineHave you ever considered “DATA MINING” your assisted living or independent living community?  That is, ‘going deep’ into all the information you have at your disposal about your residents – demographic, social, health…everything.  Your retirement community…every retirement community has a treasure trove of unused information about its residents that could be used to improve your business, your marketing, your services, and your amenities in ways that will positively impact your bottom line – census.  And these data are specific to YOU and YOUR COMMUNITY.  Unveiling this information by data mining, then organizing and analyzing it, and then finally comparing it to data from other communities as well as national data available in the literature, will reveal a specific profile, not only of your community as a whole, but also of every resident living in your community.

In the coming weeks, I will post blogs on the House Calls website that will chronicle our experience of data mining independent and assisted living communities in Boise, Idaho.  I will highlight the kinds of valuable information that is available to every retirement community and the recommendations that can positively impact performance and census.  I look forward to thoughtful feedback and provocative discussion.


Retirement Planning Should Begin NOW

Everyone needs to plan for retirement, but very few of us seriously consider it until it’s too late.  Many workers are mistaken in thinking that they will need less than two-thirds their annual income in retirement.  So it’s not that surprising that a recent survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute  found that 29% of workers report they have less than $1000 in savings, and 56% says they have less than $25,000 in savings and investments.  It may seem strange to say that retirement will take many people by surprise, but it will.  Our current economy, and failing to plan for retirement early in life, explains why 44% of boomers lack confidence in being able to retire at the traditional age of 65.

Thankfully, there are excellent companies like Aviva whose professionals offer a broad array of retirement products and who advise workers not only on the best way to plan for retirement at every stage of their life, but also how to allocate their savings in a manner that will allow them the best use of their money when they need it.  This means not only investing appropriately, but also being aware of other important factors, such as knowing the right kinds of insurance to purchase that can ultimately help them defray the costs associated with growing older.  For example, health insurance and long term care insurance should be viewed as essential investments, as they will pay for the costs of a variety of healthcare services that they will likely need as they age.  This will leave more of our money available for travelling, a new home or car, going out to dinner, entertaining friends, etc.

Aviva can also help avoid some of the many pitfalls of retirement planning and remind workers of the importance of planning for their healthcare expenses.  If Retirement Community living is a chosen option, then living in those Communities that offer on-site physician care is one important way to help maintain the best health possible and thereby reduce healthcare spending.

Workers must be aware that they may spend 20 or more years in retirement, and so a thoughtful approach to financing these ‘golden years’ is important.  Consulting a retirement professional is an important step in guiding workers through this final and potentially most fulfilling stage in their lives.