Chapel Hill, North Carolina (PressExposure) February 23, 2011 -- After an 18-month period of development and testing, Family Health Network has launched its Connected for Life online program designed to help millions of families stay in touch, monitor, and assist older family members who desire to live longer, healthier, more independent lives.
"With more and more families facing the difficulties of caring for aging loved ones, it's vital that we have an alternative caring solution," said CEO of Family Health Network Harry Bailes. "Connected for Life allows families to use technology to stay in touch and participate in the care of each other. Once an older population is connected to their families, they can also be connected to their healthcare providers, making possible many exciting possibilities to improve quality of care while reducing soaring healthcare costs."
Pilot Study: The program was recently tested with residents of Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, N.C. as well as with residents of the Well Spring Retirement Community in Greensboro, N.C. Seniors using the technology in the pilot tests found the program to be empowering, opening up new worlds and giving them access to their care circle, their church, their community, and the world.
"Before being involved in the pilot program with Connected for Life, I found computers to be overwhelming and intimidating," said Rita Slotnick who, together with her husband, was included in the program pilot. "Now I find computers to be easy to use and I am enjoying using the Connected for Life program often."
Breaking Down Barriers to Technology: Connected for Life makes computers and surfing the web easy and seamless for seniors by featuring an intuitive user interface with large type and simple graphics. In addition, the program allows users to respond to e-mails through a series of prepared answers or by simply recording an audio message for a more personal touch. Seniors also have the ability to engage in video visits (web conferencing) with loved ones and healthcare professionals. Subscription to the program is only $39.95 per month per family.
Monitoring Health Long Distance: Connected for Life allows family members and health care professionals to remotely monitor, record, and track a senior's health status and medications on a daily basis. The program features a check-in button where the senior can let caregivers know that they are okay. Additionally, when the senior checks into the program they can review a checklist of their medications for the day and there is a list of basic medical questions to help caregivers monitor their day-to-day health. By providing real-time information the benefit is immediate.
Family Health Network's Connected for Life promises to be the centerpiece of the next generation of care for our rapidly aging society. One of the leading figures in healthcare, Dr. Allen Dobson, the CEO of North Carolina Community Care Networks, Inc. recently said, "The combination of a simplified interface and the many social functions will allow Connected for Life to be used by people previously left behind by technology. In addition, the ability to connect patients and their medical providers by use of clinical monitoring will add to our ability to improve care delivery systems."
For more information on Family Health Network's Connected for Life program, please visit http://www.familyhealthnetwork.com.