What are “Hybrid” Home Care Solutions, and Might They Be Right for Your Loved One?

August 5, 2021
Daniel Peters - Sales & Business Development Director
Many families shopping for Torrance home care services don’t realize the caregiver industry has typically been slow to change. New technology was often viewed with skepticism, and most investment went toward hiring caregivers. But that stereotype no longer holds true in 2021. As with other things, COVID-19 has forced rapid evolution.

Some South Bay caregiver agencies are now providing services that fit into larger “hybrid” care models. Whereas they once viewed home care as the total solution, these companies now recognize their role as a piece to a larger puzzle that often combines technology or other resources. And this new dawn in home care is fortuitous for families that want their loved one to age in place with flexible options!

Here’s some helpful information on emerging hybrid care models and ways to determine if they are right for your vulnerable loved one.

Common “Hybrid” Scenarios

Hybrid home care scenarios can take several forms depending on the situation. A common version consists of professional caregivers who supplement family caregivers. Folks who previously relied on their home care agency to provide 24/7 care might now ask for help in filling specific times of day. And with COVID-19 school and work closures, many have found they have the time to serve as part-time family caregivers to help offset costs.

Other hybrid care models leverage new technologies that provide seniors with safety nets to supplement care when professional aides are not on duty. “Fall alert” solutions and “telehealth” technology are often used for overnight hours. These tools can ensure an aging loved one gets prompt attention in the event of a medical emergency.

“Remote patient monitoring” (RPM) devices can also preempt emergencies by electronically sharing critical vital signs to concerned family, such as blood pressure and blood glucose levels. And advanced pillboxes can dispense medications with audible alerts to ensure medication adherence 24/7. So, daytime aides still address the hands-on needs of bathing, dressing, grooming, and mobility, but technology provides an overnight safety net to reduce costs.

The Benefits

Many families find there’s much upside to using a hybrid home care model. When the right solution is found, it can result in lower costs without sacrificing quality of care and safety. It can also provide a viable option to those who previously thought the only option was for family to provide care full time, often at the expense of their own careers and personal lives.

Hybrid care models also provide flexibility. A senior who moves into an assisted living facility (also known as a “senor living community”) is making a life choice that is rather permanent. A resident can always move out of the facility, but logistics pose complications, and leases may have contracted terms.

Potential Challenges

Hybrid home care solutions present alternatives to many families seeking assistance for aging loved ones. However, some may still face challenges. This particularly true for folks with certain diagnoses, care needs, and financial circumstances.

For example, a senior with advanced Alzheimer’s may need 24/7 hands-on care. While emergency alert technology and innovative pillbox solutions can provide an afterhours safety net for some people, others will need physical supervision the entire time. And those with late-stage dementia often wander at night and are prone to dangerous accidents.

Likewise, someone recovering from stroke, a recent heart attack, or COPD might need 24/7 oxygen. He or she can leverage the afore-mentioned RPM devices to alert family to dangerous changes in blood oxygen levels. But RPM cannot remedy the situation if physical action is needed, such as checking a tank’s supply or reviewing the line for obstructions.

Finally, financial considerations affect all of life’s decisions, including healthcare. And the reality is professional home care costs might be prohibitive when compared to other options. Perhaps an extra bedroom can be added to the family home for less than the cost of an aging mother’s caregiver services.

Other Alternatives

As the saying goes, “One size does not fit all.” And while hybrid home care solutions are flexible and can help address the needs of many seniors, some will look to other options. For these folks, the main alternative is moving into an assisted living facility.

 Assisted living provides a high level of safety and addresses many daily challenges, such as medication adherence and meal preparation. But it comes at a cost that isn’t just financial. Namely, many older people feel community living compromises personal independence.

Picking the Right Agency

Ultimately, families that opt for creative, hybrid home care solutions must secure the right Torrance caregiver agency. All these companies provide aides, but they’re not all equally equipped to serve within the context of a hybrid solution. For example, many lack the necessary technologies, and some are reluctant to work cooperatively with other services.

There’s a misconception among certain caregiver companies that helpful technology “cannibalizes” their own business. While short-sighted, they view emergency/fall alert solutions as a substitute for the home care they provide. But families engaged in hybrid care solutions usually do so out of financial necessity rather than preference. So, uncooperative South Bay home care agencies ultimately create lose-lose situations when resisting the additions of helpful tools.

Other home care companies lack communication and engagement technologies that facilitate cooperation between family caregivers and agency counterparts. They haven’t implemented smartphone apps and digital notes that share information in real time and keep all care providers on the same page. Families that wish to supplement internal caregiving efforts with professional home care aides should identify an agency that is focused on collaborative “care management” and has invested in the necessary tools.


Hybrid home care solutions have evolved over the years but really came of age amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The beauty of this care model is that it combines traditional caregiver services with innovative tools, often making it more comprehensive and affordable. In fact, many families find that a daytime home care aide is less costly than monthly rent at an assisted living facility. And when combined with the nighttime safety net of technology, their loved one can instead age-in-place at home.

If you’re exploring in-home care solutions for your vulnerable loved one, friend, or patient, be sure to contact BrightStar Care of Torrance today for a free assessment from our Director of Nursing!