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Use of Technology for Better Human Services

What are Human Services?

Human resources offer vital support to individuals working in a manner that satisfies the expectations of society on a regular basis. The fundamental wellbeing, education and other requirements of a given community or category, such as the poor, the elderly and the disabled, are facilitated by human services. This programmes offer individuals the luxury of coping with their respective societies and of being willing to provide themselves with freedom of choice over their own lives. According to the National Association of Human Services, the reach of human services is quite broad; nevertheless, it is still special in its approach to human services “objective of meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems, and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations.”

The Barriers Towards Good Quality Human Services

            Human services are also experiencing barriers in order to meet the current standards for a variety of clients. Impediments in the preparation, finance, empowerment and delivery of the programme may occur, and these hurdles vary from one form of human service to another.

Obstacles can have various faces on each and every form of human care clientele, but the hurdle that gives one of the most important consequences is the change of the population pattern. For example, individuals who were born during the baby boom era between 1946 and 1964 led to a large rise in the population of the United States during that time. And since the advent of the baby boomer generation, most industries and corporations have been using the age bracket as a trend towards which good or service would support a major part of the population and will therefore bring huge income. The same is true of human services, as the increasing number of a specific age group forces human service providers to expand and improve their services in order to be able to accommodate this demographic. If you count the years, the individuals born during the baby boomer era are either retiring professionals or others who are now filing for retirement. More and more people in the United States are getting older by the minute, which means that these people are now prone to a rapid loss of cognition and physical disability.

Use of Technology for Better Human Services

Let’s take a look at the sidewalks and the transit. In a recent news report, the ageing boomers have caused considerable traffic along the sidewalks and the local transit that has been built for the younger ones. This has been a challenge for most cities in America because their communities are geared towards a youth-oriented society. Local initiatives have been launched in some cities such as New York, which are now recognised by the World Health Organization as a leader in the promotion of age-friendly communities. Other cities have also followed the footsteps of New York City. Philadelphia aims to create a walk-through community that can help older adults to be healthier. New zoning policies have been planned in Portland, Oregon, to address the concerns of senior citizens. In this situation, we might ask, how will the US cope better in this situation than relying on mere local initiatives? The answer is sustainability and empowerment. This may be the second barrier identified in this particular type of human service. By 2050, 20% of the U.S. population will be seniors. And around the globe, some 2 billion people will be 60 years of age or older, and 400 million of them are over 80 years of age. The United States should prepare for this situation and promote an environment that would allow older people to participate.

The financial arrangement of these kinds of organisations is another obstacle that human resources will encounter for a long time. The eagerness of human service organisations to enhance the programmes they deliver might not be equal to the real financial capital they have. In order to improve their production and competitiveness, they need to purchase the relevant machinery and resources, increase their staff and increase the allocation of facilities. Many human service agencies are charitable or non-profit organisations and the expense of growth could be greater than the Department may rationalise. Public sector organisations collect their funds from fees, and non-profit agencies are entirely reliant on fundraising.

The Importance of Technology

Numerous generations have already come and pass and human services have deliberately evolve to in order to meet the current needs. Kincaid (2004) reported in her monograph that “In less than fifty years, we have gone from paper correspondence delivered by post office employees to digital messages delivered electronically, from wheelchairs that were pushed up ramps to wheelchairs that ascend and descend staircases, from education based on seat time to education over the Internet, and from automobiles that could be repaired in the back yard by just about anyone to privately owned shuttles to the moon.”  The obvious application of technology has evolved and expanded exponentially, and has actually infiltrated and changed much of our personal and professional lives. The different technological advancements contrived each year have granted various organizations to increase their productivity and efficiency. 

It is actually possible to reduce or even get rid of the abovementioned barriers through the use of proper technology. As a matter of fact for the case of baby boomers, technology has grown with them hand in hand. According to a report by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and Microsoft Corporation, baby boomers and technology have a unique relationship with each other. It was stated that baby boomers are currently influencing the developments in technology, including the way computers and applications are meant to function. Adam Sohn, Director of Integrated Communications for AARP, said, “Baby boomers want technology that expresses their values and lets them communicate those values with greater intent, sense and effect.” The recent innovations like sensor equipped exercise clothing like GPS enables running shoes to monitor their heart rate, track the calories they burn and automatically upload them for storage and analysis, enables them to keep track of their physical condition easily. In the year 2019, the youngest boomers will be turning 55 years old and researches are on-going to improve the relationship between society and technology to better serve the interests of this demographic.

            In home care service, seniors can enjoy the online care program Interactive Caregiving TM.  It a program developed online by Comfort Keepers Senior Care Services, leading in-home care provider across United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.. This online service has a “unique approach to in-home care, keeping seniors safe.” It aims to help seniors to enhance their independence and well-being. Comfort Keepers also offer other senior care services in which they employ the proper use of technology. Another product they offer is in-home safety technologies that assure to protect the elder individual inside your home, round the clock.

Online job advertisements and job screenings for hiring professional caregivers also contribute to empower the elderly care industry by empowering hands-on care services. An example is Interim HealthCare® who is one of the leaders in home care and medical staffing in United States. It has helped several institutions and private individuals to employ health care workers like nurses, therapists, aides, and other health care personnel. One of Interim HealthCare®’s franchises is senior home care which they aim to “provide an enriched personalized quality of life as well as superior non-medical care and companionship for the elderly.” They took medical staffing to the next level by extending their reach through the use of the internet.

Technology for Human Services

            The abovementioned technologies have a specific focus on the apparent needs of the baby boomers. Without a doubt, technology has greatly influenced the quality of human services. Technology did not only help senior care services but the demand for it was also highly correlated with the trend in a certain demographic. The barriers faced by human service organizations can be better handled through the various technologies presently available.

  • Aging Boomers Strain Cities Built for the Young. (2011). Retrieved from https://health.yahoo.net/news/s/ap/us_aging_america_age_friendly_cities
  • Baby Boomers Are Shaping the Future of Technology, AARP and Microsoft Research Shows. (2009). Microsoft News Center. Retrieved from https://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/dec09/12-01boomertechpr.mspx
  • Goliday, A. (2011). What Are Some Barriers of Technology That Would Hinder Human Service Agencies? Retrieved from https://www.ehow.com/info_8221776_barriers-hinder-human-service-agencies.html
  • In Home Care: A Solution for Baby Boomers and in the Future Part II. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://centralfloridaseniorhomecare.com/in-home-care-a-solution-for-baby-boomers-now-and-in-the-future-part-ii/
  • Interim Healthcare. (n.d.). Retrieved from  https://www.interimhealthcare.com/
  • Kincaid, S. (2004). Technology in Human Services: Using Technology to Improve Quality of Life. Retrieved from https://www.cshse.org/documents/Technology_in_HS.pdf
  • Menon, G. M., & Brown, N.K. (2001). Using Technology in Human Services Education. USA: The Haworth Medical Press
  • National Organization for Human Services. (n.d.).  What is Human Services? Retrieved from https://www.nationalhumanservices.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=88

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