Pulling It All Together
Expand the Team
Your team may consist of you, your family member(s), service providers, vendors, and case manager. Many of your team members may already be in place. As you take this next step to plan new services, it is important to keep your goals in mind in order to know which team members will expand with you and where you will need to add additional expertise on technology solutions, regulations, or other essential knowledge.
IF YOU HAVE A SERVICE PROVIDER AND CASE MANAGER ALREADY INVOLVED:
Compare the proposed plan to your goals, expectations, and specific fears/concerns. If you feel the option(s) being suggested are not in alignment, continue to challenge the plan—being as specific about your concerns as possible. If you believe there is an option that will better fit your goals do not be afraid to continue advocating for it. Be open to potential compromise(s) such as an altered start date and/or a phase-in plan if the team is getting stuck.
IF THERE IS NO SERVICE PROVIDER INVOLVED:
You may be the primary researcher of options and possibilities and will most likely be working directly with the technology vendor(s) to assess their ability to meet your/your family members expectations. Be clear with your case manager about what assistance you need in order for them to help identify potential technology options and secure any needed funding.
Assess Any Roadblocks
When moving from the conversation to the planning phase, it is important to have everyone on the same page. Sometimes this is not always the case and not all parties can come to an agreement. If you and your family member(s) are finding that you are not on the same page as your provider(s) and/or case manager, there are still options available to help you move forward.
If your provider is not on the same page as you:
- Share success stories and/or case studies with them outlining the business impact. Some examples may be found in the Resource Library.
Reach out to technology vendors directly to team up with your provider.
Find a provider that specializes in the area of technology you feel may best meet your/your family member’s goals.
If your case manager is not on the same page as you:
- Enlist provider(s) to discuss benefits with your case manager.
Share relevant success stories and/or case studies showing effective uses of technology by others. ARRM and DHS are both good resources for this approach.
- Ask your case manager to reach out to others in their department/network/other counties that have already started using technology.
Once the team has worked through the potential uses of technology and related supports, the original goals, concerns, and fears raised during initial conversations should be revisited. Through the exploration process, goals may have been modified and hopefully concerns and fears became more specific as options were discussed. Keep the below items in mind when assessing which options fit the desired lifestyle of the person served.
Ask questions to better understand how the technology works, what safeguards are in place, and what would happen in specific circumstances (ex: if meds aren’t taken, return time from work is not when expected, power goes out, etc.). If you have remaining fears or concerns, continue to ask questions until you feel comfortable with the technology itself, as well as the protocols and safeguards in place.
If you have questions about the proposed technology support, ask to meet with the vendor to learn more about how it works and who they are. If your service provider plans to provide, manage, or assist with the technology, ask them about their expertise and how they will assure the proper support is in place.
It is not uncommon for you to reach out to providers and vendors directly to get your questions answered—doing so does not commit you to utilizing their services, but may help calm any remaining concerns and answer lingering questions you might have.
Most technology vendors and many service providers who utilize technology use an assessment and/or planning tool to determine the appropriate technology and approaches for individuals. You may want to participate in that process or ask to review it before it is finalized. An assessment example may be found in the Resource Library.
Be clear about what you want to accomplish, such as: have time without staff, know who is entering or leaving the residence, ensure medication is taken on time and/or independently, get help from on-site staff if/when needed.
When utilizing monitoring technology, informed consent must be obtained by all individuals affected by the proposed technology. Family/advocates will need to gain approval from the person served and give consent to move forward. Consenting is an ongoing process, and it can be withdrawn at anytime. Family/advocates will be working with case managers to ensure signoff is achieved at the agency level and all approvals are obtained.
Learn more about informed consent and individual privacy
—how it works and what is needed.