Fellow Technology Leader Therap features SimplyHome and CLC in New Video

SimplyHome is delighted to be featured in Therap’s newest video, which highlights the role of assistive technology in providing state-of-the-art, affordable, and person-centered care.

The Charles Lea Center in Spartanburg, SC has pioneered the implementation of technology in their organization, one of the first in South Carolina, both through Therap (a provider of electronic record keeping) and through SimplyHome’s assistive technology systems, in order to support CLC’s residents, care staff, and administration.

Charles Lea Staff Member Shanena R.The video highlights the role of technology by interviewing Charles Lea staff and South Carolina policymakers. Here are two of our favorite quotes from the interviews:

“Technology gives individuals both the freedom they are capable of, and the support they need.”

 

“The technology allowed staff to spend more quality time with individuals.”

 

What else are our partners saying about using SimplyHome technology? Watch the video to find out! For the full video, featuring the Charles Lea Center, SimplyHome, and Therap technology, click here.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

ANCOR Pushes for Change

ANCOR Urges Changes

Save

ANCOR Urges Providers and Legislators to Adapt Care and Funding Models to Include Technology

 

At this year’s Technology Summit & Showcase, ANCOR (American Network of Community Options and Resources) issued a stirring declaration of the need for change in service and funding models in a press release, “Bringing Long-Term Supports & Services into the 21st Century.  [Read the PDF version of the ANCOR Statement here.]

 

ANCOR’s statement marks a pivotal moment for providers seeking to keep up with changing resources and for states that face long waiting lists.

 

SimplyHome’s Jason Ray explains why this is such a big moment for ANCOR: “ANCOR is not merely saying that incorporating technology is important — they’re saying it is a requirement for providers to remain sustainable in the future and to meet the requirements of the HCBS final rule and the Olmstead Act. And ANCOR is also saying that technology must be included as a form of support just like staff support — while many still see technology and staff support as being mutually exclusive.”

 

Perhaps the most striking part of ANCOR’s statement was the assertion that current service models actually deter innovation and hinder providers from meeting the expectations of Olmstead and the Final Rule:

 

The methods, standards, funding, and accountability of today’s service system for people with disabilities and seniors were established when the only tool available to supervise and support individuals was the physical presence of a caregiver [...]

These outdated tools and way of thinking deter innovation, self-determination, quality outcomes and the most effective use of resources.

Employing technology to support individuals and their families can not only be resource-efficient, but, it can offer a powerful tool to enable community integration and person-centered supports by extending the reach of support persons.

 

While previous service models that do not incorporate technology as a form of support are certainly understandable, they are no longer sufficient. Providers can no longer ignore the great potential of technology in caring for their clients. The CMS final rule defines outcome-oriented services not by the safety of the individual, but by the nature and quality of the individual’s experiences (including, but not limited to, the individual’s safety).

 

Many barriers — primarily, regulatory and payment methodologies — can limit an individual’s access to technological resources. CMS must identify and remove these barriers in order to provide for greater independence, privacy, and community integration of individuals with disabilities.

 

SimplyHome at Work to Transform Models of Care

 

At SimplyHome, we focus on these questions: What goals does the individual have for himself or herself? How can technology increase or improve this person’s independence? How can we enable this person to navigate daily life with greater dignity, to take reasonable risks with appropriate safety nets of support, and to learn life skills that will empower the independence desired by the individual?

 

Supported by technology, many individuals can move into more independent living settings.

Supported by technology, many individuals can move into more independent living settings.
(Watch Laura and Vicki’s story here.)

 

SimplyHome’s custom solutions seek to empower individuals to meet their own goals, whether that means cooking independently, living in their own homes, being responsible for their own daily medications and activities, or transitioning to a more independent residential setting.

 

As ANCOR asserts in the position paper, “If supports are to be truly person-centered, individuals should, with the assistance of their selected circle of support, make decisions on critical quality of life matters and how to best achieve them including through the use of technology.”

 

What Does This Mean for Providers?

 

The incorporation of technology not only enables care that is more person-centered, but can provide cost-effective alternatives to care based on 24/7 staffing.

 

Providers who have worked with SimplyHome technology have been able to widen the scope and depth of their services to many more individuals, and empower their staff to attend to the most urgent care needs. Individuals who need less in-person care and who are capable of learning independent living skills are empowered to work towards their own goals.

 

Providers do face hurdles as they explore new models of care. Many existing care models are tied to existing assets already owned by the providers, and the individuals providing services are comfortable with how these supports are currently delivered. Supports are also built around “doing for” the individual and minimizing risk to the organization. This usually results in too much oversight and way too little opportunity for the individual with disabilities. This requires providers to shift their culture away from “doing for” to training, supporting, and engaging with individuals to enable them to have the dignity of risk in a new way of living.

 

Individuals supported by technology can set goals for their daily routines -- and meet them using that technology. (Watch Sophia's story here.)

Individuals supported by technology can set goals for their daily routines — and meet them using that technology.
(Watch Sophia’s story here.)

 

What Does This Mean for States?

 

By opening new avenues for services to be provided, and by making such services more cost-effective, the states can begin to impact their current waiting list populations without increasing the funds required to provide such supports.

 

Many states (including PA and NC, who both released new supported living waivers to include the use of technology) are moving towards the inclusion of technology supports in supported living environments. This will allow individuals to be properly supported without staff or family in-person support when it isn’t necessary, and it will allow for much more cost-effective outcomes.

 

Many states currently have waiting lists for residential supports, so even if you are eligible for services, you may not be able to receive services. For example, there are over 10,000 people on the NC waiting list, over 9,000 in SC, and over 13,000 in PA. In New Mexico, the waiting list time is 11-12 years once a person becomes eligible and enrolls in services.

 

How Does This Look in Real Life? The Charles Lea Story

 

Since 2008, the Charles Lea Center (CLC) in Spartanburg, SC, has utilized SimplyHome technology to provide support to individuals in settings that range from traditional staff-based care to independent apartments.

 

During a six-year period of gradually incorporating more technology into their support services, CLC was able to start seven new programs, generating enough savings to enable CLC to support six new individuals, without using any additional state dollars.

 

In 2014, CLC created a transition program that helps individuals make the move into their own homes and gain the skills they need to live independently. The unique program offers training and assistance as necessary from a centralized office, and over time the individuals become comfortable enough with our technology that they are ready to move into their own apartments or homes.

 

Today, 93% of the transition program’s residents use SimplyHome technology in their independent living settings, while 37% of all CLC programs use technology to support individuals. By integrating technology into their support services, CLC is able to provide support for their clients for less than $100 per day per individual. Without technology, this cost would be approximately $200 per day.

 

Most telling is how the individuals feel in their technology-supported living settings: in a recent survey, when CLC residents were asked if they felt safe in their homes, 100% said yes. Two individuals who have fully taken advantage of the transition program are Laura and Vicki, who now live in their own apartment together:

Watch Laura & Vicki’s Story: Gaining Independence

 

How Does This Look in Real Life? The Imagine! Story

 

Imagine!, a Colorado non-profit that helps people with developmental disabilities, is also demonstrating how technology can be a tool for independence.

 

“We’re looking at new ways to keep people in the community in a safe and secure setting that also supports independence,” said Greg Wellems, the Chief Operating Officer at Imagine!

 

He continues, “The idea is to use technology in a community-based setting that will allow people to be monitored remotely and will allow their loved ones or caregivers to know when they are home, what area of the apartment or living space they are accessing, remotely lock doors, remotely let people know what facilities they are using, and support them with medication adherence.”

 

One individual who uses technology supports through Imagine! is Sophia Hicks, who uses SimplyHome solutions to promote safety, to live in her own place with a roommate, and to receive verbal prompts about completing her daily routine:

 

Watch Sophia’s Story: Independent and supported

 

 

 

 Want more stories like this?

Follow SimplyHome’s Facebook page.

SimplyHome

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Who Are You?

As a company that values people, we want to do more than create outcomes with technology. We also want to provide a platform for voices to be heard so others can be inspired by the passions, visions, and courage these individuals have to share. Check out our latest video where the individuals we work with tell us WHO they are and WHAT they want.

In Good Company: SimplyHome Partners to Present in Colorado

“The process for preparing an organization to incorporate technology often times requires a shift in culture that has a focus on the person-centered principles as a basis for technology development,” Jerry Bernard, Executive Director of the Charles Lea Center said.

ANCOR

SimplyHome is excited to be gearing up for the Coleman Institute/ANCOR Technology Summit and Showcase next week in Broomfield, Colorado. Four of our partners are also busy working hard to prepare for the conference.

innovativeInnovative ServicesBased in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Innovative Services opened in 2004 with the mission and vision to give those with developmental disabilities the best quality of life in the community. Implementing SimplyHome’s technology more than six years ago, Innovative Services is able to serve clients by allowing staff to respond to specific events without needing to be present during times when not wanted or needed.

Innovative Services Chief Operating Officer Rick Bahr will be speaking in an effort to teach other organizations new approaches for connecting technology to independent living while staying up to date on policies shifting from services to outcomes. Bahr will also touch on how to deepen the impact of an organization on individuals being served through integrating technology that will assist staff and clients.

Charles Lea foundation logo green

The Charles Lea Center: The Charles Lea Center has been utilizing technology for their consumers since 1995.  Jerry Bernard, Executive Director of the Charles Lea Center, plans to focus on the process for preparing an organization to incorporate technology into service systems. He will discuss the work that needs to be done ahead of time, before laying a new foundation that incorporates technology. The Charles Lea Center’s concern has always been that some providers use technology as a quick fix. They might not see the long-term potential technology can have on an organization. Bernard intends to share his organization’s experiences to inspire new ways of thinking.

abilitybeyond1

Ability Beyond: Laurie Dale from Ability Beyond, a service provider in New York, is also presenting in Colorado next week. Ability Beyond uses SimplyHome’s technology to serve more than 60 clients as well as monitor their day and night staff. A client of SimplyHome since 2012, Ability Beyond continues to use technology in innovative ways. A panel style presentation will focus on discrete wireless sensors and how providers are able to use them in more ways than to monitor clients, including overnight supervision of staff checks. The discussion will also touch on individualized environmental controls and the benefit they have for clients.

 

Black Hills Works: Connie Melvin, Director of BHWorksInnovation and Futures Works, from Black Hills Works in Rapid City, South Dakota, is giving a presentation titled “Technology in Motion.” This facilitated discussion will give care providers an opportunity to share how they have been able to implement principles laid out in the Declaration of Rights of People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology and Information Access. This document was signed by SimplyHome, among other companies and individuals, in order to express commitment to the equal rights of people with cognitive disabilities. Read more about SimplyHome signing the document here.

As we prepare to make the trip to Colorado, we are grateful that these partners are going to be there with us. With the release of our new SimplyHome System, it is always exciting to see how our technology is providing innovative ways to not only take care of people who are aging or that have developmental disabilities, but also how our technology is helping care providers in their own innovative ways.

 

Paralyzed and Living Alone – Watch Jonathon’s Story

Check out this amazing video of Jonathon and see how he is moving in a positive direction after his accident. We want to give The Charles Lea Center in Spartanburg, SC a big thank you for putting this video together and for sharing it with us. We are so proud to be a small part of Jonathon’s independence.

Jonathon is a strong-willed person who longs for his independence. Paralyzed not long after graduating from high school, Jonathon promised the doctors and nurses he would accomplish two goals: He would walk again one day, and he would have his own apartment and live on his own. With the help of SimplyHome technology and the Charles Lea Center, Jonathon is able to stay alone at nights and on weekends in his own apartment. SimplyHome worked to install technology into Jonathon’s apartment that allows him to open and close his front door, control his thermostat, lights, fans, and television through an app installed on an iPad.