The aged care industry produces for and serves people who are above the retirement age. It includes senior homes, pharmaceuticals, caregivers, pension, care products and the like. Governments across the globe, as well as established corporates, seek to actively contribute to this industry, given the rapidly ageing population. Senior aged care is worth $927 billion at the moment according to an unofficial figure since it’s a part of the unorganised sector.
However, it seems that the aged-care sector is enabling the satisfaction of individual greed through serving the senior community. Scams, illicit pharmacies and counterfeits have plagued the industry, billions of dollars are lost in the process since there is no record or organised data keeping mechanism.
Senior homes charge exorbitant amounts from people who no longer earn. They promise to deliver services and activities that are not traceable in the current state of affairs. The online pharmacies, over 35,000 of them, don’t want seniors to take the pain of offline buying. But 96% of these are non-compliant with the laws and standards of the country they operate in or the one they deliver services to, or both.
Staff and employees of care businesses are hired to provide support to seniors and help bridge the lack of companionship in their lives. At the same time, over 40% of seniors are affected by social isolation, and the cases of elder abuse are rapidly rising while becoming more agonizing. Data reveals that 15%-30% of seniors suffer from episodes of ‘clinical’ depression, and the percentage is higher for seniors in nursing homes. In the USA alone, seniors over the age of 65 account for 20% of all suicide deaths.
The entire ecosystem gets afflicted by such illicit acts and scams that are most often not recorded for, and seniors are an easy target for the same. Over-charging them, cheating them or deceiving them into scams is not something unheard of, due to lack of a one-stop solution and poor awareness around this. A recent study revealed that financial abuse and fraud in the USA costed seniors $36.5 billion in a year, and the figure is likely to be under-reported. WHO reports that in 2017, 15.7% of the people over the age of 60 suffered from at least one kind of abuse, and this is when only 1 in 24 cases gets reported. They often lack the means and energy to report matters of physical and financial abuse. Overall, there seems to be a long list of problems in this opaque industry with a heavy dependency on services provided in silos and middlemen desiring to make money out of the same.
How Can Blockchain Tech Weed Out the Frauds
GladAge is an ecosystem that envisions to revitalize the senior care industry. In doing so, it’s targeting to make it free of scams and counterfeiting with the help of blockchain. Cleaning the entire sector by traditional means is almost impossible.
How exactly GladAge is using blockchain to empower seniors can be best understood with the help of an example.
Ms Glad is a 70-year-old senior, who faces the challenges of old age. She often feels lonely due to a lack of companionship, which causes episodes of depression. She doesn’t have easy access to verified medication, a physiotherapist to help with her health or a doctor who could visit her at home when there’s a need. In her age, medical and insurance record keeping is exhausting. It’s also difficult to find home care or a nursing home that understands the exact needs of her ailments to provide a customized therapy. Enter GladAge.
With a one-stop solution that GladAge provides, she can choose a senior home of her own choice, or hire on-demand caregivers based on her specific requirements. Further, she and her family will be able to review and report these services according to her experience, with the reviews being recorded on an immutable ledger. But that’s not all. She can even use the GladAge portal to buy medicines, equipment and other aged-care products from verified sellers. Insurance and medical records will not be at the risk of theft or breach as all transactions and data will be stored on blockchain.
Further, all transactions will be secured with smart contracts and payments will be made when the particular conditions of the contract are met, ensuring that she receives what she was promised. However, she will not pay for these services in cash, but with the GladAge token (GAC).
In doing so, GladAge endeavors to empower seniors to take charge while enormously reducing the risks of fraud, breach and scams that are gradually damaging the sector. The industry might be worth billions, but it’s crucial to ensure that the resources get utilized for where they are intended.
GladAge is currently in its presale stage, which is live till June 30th 2018. During this phase, the project is soft capped at $2 million, while the hard cap makes $8 million. Those interested can contribute to the platform’s development at the rate $0.10 per 1 GAC, receiving a bonus of generous 25%.