We graciously thank Denise Rabidoux, President & CEO, Evangelical Homes of Michigan for writing this article.
The profile of today’s senior is much different than even a decade ago. Evangelical Homes of Michigan (EHM), has spent time studying and understanding the needs and desires of older adults to help develop programs and services to meet those ever-changing needs.
They have transformed their business over the last five years to enhance their more traditional modes of service delivery. EHM has also embarked on a journey that has created a more holistic, preventative focused continuum of services and solutions to help empower older adults earlier in the aging process, before they need help. In essence, they have embraced the true intent of culture change.
EHM’s transformation was first driven by data. The first of 78 million baby-boomers are turning 65. For the foreseeable future, this will cause an influx of customers into the senior services industry. This growing sector of our country’s population is causing every provider to analyze their plans. In addition to the sheer volume, people are living longer. The Centers for Disease Control report the average life expectancy for females is 80 years old and for males it is 75.
EHM has also learned from their research and analysis that most people want to live their lives as healthy and as independently as possible. More than 95% of older adults surveyed by the AARP said they would avoid a nursing home environment and would much rather age in the comfort of their own home. And the fact is, over 80% of older adults are fortunate enough to live out their years at home.
Across the country, providers have the difficult decision to invest and expand their facilities, which is capital intensive, as a way to meet the future demand for services. At EHM, however, they decided to think differently and strategically about the future and not necessarily investing only in the physical facilities they own.
Evangelical Homes of Michigan provides healthcare, housing and community services to older adults and their families in six Southeast Michigan communities – Ann Arbor, Detroit, Farmington Hills, Saline and Sterling Heights. In addition to maintaining and improving its current facilities, EHM underwent a visioning process with its board and staff five years ago to create a new line of business that could address both the growing number of older adults coming into the system, but also to meet the needs of the overwhelming number of people who wish to live in their own home for life.
EHM took its first step by creating an organization-wide health and wellness initiative that employs personal trainers, lifestyle coaches, nutritional counselors, massage therapists and other professionals to help older adults currently being served on its campuses to live more healthy and productive lives.
Secondly, EHM worked to extend in-home services to older adults living in their own homes in order to help them remain healthy and active so that they can maintain their independence.
To further its reach into the growing at-home market segment, EHM developed a program, called LifeChoices™, a membership based solution to help older adults to “age in place,” bringing products and services directly to a client’s home. In addition, LifeChoices™ offers daily contact with a personal lifestyle coach who helps monitor all aspects of a client’s life, including health-related issues and provides older adults with help with navigating the day-to-day challenges of remaining at home.
An innovative partnership with California-based Intel-GE Care Innovations™ created a technology platform that further enhances service delivery. Contrary to popular belief, older adults have embraced, are more familiar and reliant on technology. The Intel-GE Care Innovations™ Connect device is a tool that helps to deliver services and provides education and health prevention through a daily connection with a lifestyle coach.
This deliberate decision to expand and enhance service delivery has transformed EHM’s operations. EHM has grown from servicing 600 older adults to serving more than 2000. Where most are providing a piece of the puzzle, EHM has become one of only a handful of organizations providing a one-stop-shop for older adults when they enter retirement and throughout their lifetime.
Visit the link above or call 734-295-9292 to find out more about this innovative community.