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Connections - 01.30.20

The Neighborhood Network: Independence Reimagined

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The Neighborhood Network (NN) is GoodLife’s response to the perfect storm. It’s a comprehensive, cost-effective neighborhood support model that combines technology with natural and professional supports, weaving professional and in-home care organically into the fabric of a typical, well-selected, amenity-filled neighborhood.

This next-generation service model promotes independence for seniors and those with I/DD, fusing 24/7 peace of mind with personalized care right when needed, thereby reducing costs and allowing those with barriers to independent living to experience meaningful and satisfying lives in their own homes. Ultimately, the NN offers a superior alternative to assisted living or traditionally staffed group homes that is sustainable, affordable and inclusive.

How does the NN work?

The NN approach begins with a well-selected neighborhood: safe, accessible, close to community resources and amenity-filled. iLink is then infused into each home, connecting residents of both the local NN support office (where activities and care are coordinated), and GoodLife’s Applied Technology Center.

Fundamentally, the NN is a dynamic combination of volunteers, Professional Neighbors, and iLink all existing within a safe, local community. GoodLife’s Vibrant Village is a membership and volunteer-based program where neighbors come together to lend a helping hand and enrich each other’s lives. Professional Neighbors permanently live in the neighborhood they support and are available 24/7 to assist as needs arise. They are all deployed and supervised by iLink, ensuring the delivery of the best and safest care. With GoodLife’s approach, both natural and volunteer supports are able to be leveraged within the neighborhood.

Who does the NN serve?

We are building an inclusive and interdependent community where individuals with many different abilities can connect, feel supported and give back. The NN was originally designed for adults with I/DD or TBI who need scheduled and intermittent support to live a successful life. In the last few years the NN was redesigned for seniors who want to age in place but could use some peace of mind for the just-in-case moments. At GoodLife, community living is centered around supporting independence where we can encourage neighbors to thrive and flourish within a self-sustaining and silo-free community.

Why choose the NN?

Traditional services are no longer the answer, and are also not preferred. While even the best technologies cannot–and should not–replace human services, they can offer new pathways to affordably leverage the human touch for smaller, decentralized services. This approach helps support intermittent needs that would otherwise drive up staffing costs.

Additionally, well-designed service models that extensively use technologies can offer new methods for safely shaping independence in meaningful ways that were never before possible. The problem with most approaches to independent living technologies, however, is that they are not well integrated into human service models. More importantly, traditional human service approaches are not built or designed to take full advantage of what these technologies have to offer. As a result, many providers become frustrated with outcomes as they simply “bolt on” new technologies on top of their unchanged service approaches–like bolting on an electric engine to their gas car. Unfortunately, that approach doesn’t work. The NN is a new paradigm of care that allows vulnerable populations to affordably and safely live in their own home. GoodLife believes that a strong technology infrastructure combined with well-designed service approaches WILL define the next generation of care–expanding “human” services in ways that offer support at the moment and place of need. This vision is a game changer.

Authored by staff writers at GoodLife Innovations. For more information contact [email protected] and visit our website at www.mygoodlife.org.