VOICE for Dementia Care, a tech-enabled care management solution, provides professional coaching and advice for family caregivers, guided by tailored protocols and supported with a collaboration platform, Vela. The pilot showed a significant reduction in caregiver burden and improvement in caregiver confidence and activation, which contributed to declines in hospitalizations and emergency department visits for persons diagnosed with dementia.
Seniorlink, Inc., a leading tech-enabled health services company, shared results of its novel VOICE (Vital Outcomes Inspired by Caregiver Engagement) for Dementia Care pilot that demonstrated how increasing the activation and confidence of family caregivers can lead to better outcomes for persons diagnosed with dementia, and reduce healthcare costs. The program is now available to health plans and providers. The announcement is being made today at the Connected Health Conference in Boston.
VOICE for Dementia Care is an evidence-based program designed to connect family caregivers with a professional coach, who offers guidance and support using clinical protocols through Vela. The professional coaches from Seniorlink partner with existing care teams at health plans and providers.
The program leverages established behavioral science and proven caregiver engagement techniques. A successful six-month pilot conducted in Indiana showed that activating the family caregiver reduced their burden and improved their confidence. This, in turn, empowered them in their critical role as family caregivers, resulting in a reduction in key clinical outcomes.
“Our model confirms that there is a strong relationship between reducing caregiver burden and improving outcomes,” said Jay V. Patel, Clinical Transformation Officer. “By combining the talents of our professional coaches from Seniorlink with the collaborative technology of Vela, the team was able to build trusted relationships with caregivers and existing care teams, meeting caregivers where they are in their knowledge, communication, confidence and care skills. This is the true meaning of family-centric care for our healthcare system.”
The VOICE for Dementia Care program aims to increase caregiver engagement; improve key caregiver outcome measures such as knowledge, confidence and attitude; and improve patient outcomes, such as reducing hospitalizations and emergency department visits. The program focuses on four key areas of coaching support: understanding dementia, communication skills, caregiver self-care, and managing dementia patient behaviors that can be challenging. The following results compare the six months prior to the pilot and the six months of active coaching during the pilot:
- 20 percent decline in caregiver burden, such as a reduction in their physical and emotional stress
- 13 percent increase in the confidence of caregivers, who felt bolstered by the insights and support received from coaching
- 10 percent increase in caregiver activation, as measured by the collective change in knowledge, confidence and attitude
- 18 percent decrease in hospitalizations
- 51 percent drop in emergency department visits
The VOICE for Dementia Care program leverages Vela, Seniorlink’s HIPAA-secure care collaboration solution. Vela connects family caregivers, Seniorlink’s coaches, and care teams at health plans and providers. It’s available as a native app in the Apple Store and Google Play, and as a web-based application.
To learn more about the VOICE for Dementia Care program and Seniorlink, visit www.seniorlink.com.