The Quest for the GoodLife | Episode 8

Our Quest for the GoodLife series with Dr. Mike Strouse is wrapping up for this year, and in 2020’s final episode we wanted to take some time to address many of the comments and questions received from our viewers. In particular, we often field inquiries about privacy: how can we prioritize privacy for the people we serve when we are advocating for technology solutions? We are so glad you asked. 

First, it should be no surprise that Covid is causing the world to change. We’ve anticipated that technology would powerfully impact the service industry–and now more than ever we are discovering how important these changes can be. Once you say “yes” to leveraging technology, the next step is figuring out how to implement it. In fact, GoodLife has been preparing the iLink Technology solutions AND the implementation plan that can help providers navigate this transition. While this video blog won’t answer that question, GoodLife can help with both. We love partnering with other providers to empower independence, both for individuals served and the organizations serving them.

Mike’s favorite mantra is, “We don’t provide remote support–we teach you how to provide support remotely.” This is an important distinction for GoodLife. We believe strongly that breaches of privacy are synonymous with an unwelcome intrusion. When relationships are at the center of care and when personal preferences, self-direction, and independence are empowered for those served, we can reduce unwelcome intrusions and deliver a model of care that’s both safe and preferred. 

Really, intermittent needs are at the root of this discussion because they are the most dangerous. When we know that needs will pop up but can’t tell when or where they will happen we have to be always ready and waiting just in case. This means staffing someone in the home, or more often, putting 4-8 (or more) individuals with needs in the same home and providing staffing there so that it’s more affordable to distribute the labor. This congregate care solution has been the standard for a long time. But moving into an assisted living facility, a nursing home, or group home will result in the sacrifice of some personal liberties: when it’s time to eat, take a shower, or go for a walk may no longer be at the sole discretion of the individual. 

The first responsibility in remotely supporting people is actually filtering out the times when we don’t need to be intruding. We want to avoid prescribing other people’s lives and believe that there should be a sweet spot between living at home when you have intermittent needs and losing your liberty, and yes–we want to balance that with privacy. When designed well, remote support can actually be less intrusive than in-person staff. 

What is the least intrusive and most effective solution? That’s what GoodLife is all about.

Technology is the only thing that can deliver independence and then get out of the way. This allows us to know when and where staff need to be somewhere–and more importantly when they DON’T need to be someplace. GoodLife’s infrastructure is designed to support people in the least intrusive way possible and it’s highly personalized to allow someone to live the most independent life possible. We put staff in the right place at the right time, maximizing privacy, personal liberty, choice, and self-direction.

Now, remote support does not mean only cameras, and cameras alone don’t offer quality remote support. While a remote support approach may in many cases include a visual solution, it’s important to clarify that remote support should not be equated with cameras. Furthermore, cameras by themselves are not either intrusive or not: human caregivers have eyes, too. 

Remember, intrusion is an unwelcome event. If it’s not unwelcome, it isn’t intrusive. We understand that providers have relationships with those they support. Those caregivers are the ones that need to work, even remotely, with the person served. Receiving care by a stranger versus someone you know and trust is critical: one is a breach of privacy–one isn’t. It depends on the relationships.

Lastly, as we discussed last time, when it comes to implementing a technology solution within your organization, there is widespread impact on policy, service agreements, training protocols, and more. Everyone involved needs to know that technology is being used in the home. And while transparency is key, you don’t need to recreate the wheel. We’ve got the tools and expertise to help you with implementing remote support and would love to connect.

Partnerships drive our work–want to explore how iLink’s Enterprise Solution might be useful within your organization? We’d love to chat. Please contact Megan Todd to set up a personalized meet and greet with our team. 

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