One in three people aged 65 and older lives alone. Since the mid-1980s, the number of single-family and single households has nearly doubled – seniors in particular are increasingly living alone. In 2020, according to Statistics Austria, nearly four million private households were recorded – of which 1,506,000 people lived alone. However, the continuation of the trend will have a massive impact on the quality of life and care of older persons by 2030 at the latest.
As the Statistics Austria study and many other research studies show, our society is undergoing demographic change. This will bring about a significant change in the population structure in the coming years. The retirement of the baby boomer generation as well as the trend toward single households and the decline in the birth rate are significantly exacerbating the situation in the care sector. The nursing sector has been known to suffer from a shortage of certified professionals for years. In 2030 alone, Austria is projected to need about 100,000 nurses. Of course, this estimate also means new career opportunities in a diverse professional field that moves. Increasing digitization is making work in the nursing and care sector even more attractive.
Success with holistic care systems
Not only in home care, but also in the segment of professional care facilities, there is an enormous need to support caregivers in their daily work, to optimize daily routines, to increase the attractiveness of the care profession itself, and to improve the quality of life of elderly people in need of care. For example, there is potential for digitization in the documentation of all nursing activities. Nurses can spend around 40% of their working time documenting their daily work. To significantly reduce this documentation effort, MOCCA, the market-leading care platform in Austria, has developed a holistic software suite. Once implemented, nurses can gain more nursing time per patient.
Another solution to ease the burden of everyday care and improve the quality of life of seniors is the JAMES Tablet, a special tablet that entertains the elderly by means of senior-friendly software and simple operation. The tablet serves as a holistic communication hub between professional and home care. Accordingly, the system brings professional care tools into the home of those receiving care. Care organizations can send caregivers and family caregivers a professional care plan, including instructions and video tutorials, via the JAMES tablet. Both plan and content are tailored to the requirements of the person being cared for. In addition, caregivers and family members can conveniently document daily tasks via checklist in the tablet’s care app. With the integration of further functionalities such as a family portal for better communication with relatives, the tablet will be further developed into a holistic service platform.
Digitization creates the future
Increasingly high quality is demanded of both professional care facilities and mobile caregivers, as well as the large area of home care. However, this fact should not discourage the nursing profession. The care workflow is increasingly facilitated with the help of digital tools and offers professionals the chance to focus on the essentials, the person being cared for, while at the same time being able to respond to new challenges.