Chris Zaal on an Aging Population: Personal Ethics and Thoughts
Chris Zaal established the American Alliance Health Services and is a supporter of the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Foundation. His commitment to health began when he became ill in 2013 with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a rare auto-immune disorder that damages the nerves. It was this experience that inspired him to build successful partnerships in the medical field and attempt to make a difference in the community.
There’s no denying that the healthcare industry in the US needs a turnaround, particularly when services and insurance are as fractured as they are. When it comes to elder care, the issues only magnify though. Having a moral compass has been the only way for Chris Zaal to hope to navigate this sector. He discusses how it’s affected his outlook and, ultimately, his business and philanthropic decisions.
Tackling the Real Problems
People who discuss medical options for the elderly often do so without having much first-hand experience with it. As the population steadily ages, we hear over and over again about how this will impact the jobs needed in the future.
Chris Zaal knows that there’s a lot more that isn’t being said during these conversations though. The industry struggles with getting enough people to take these jobs who also have the qualifications to perform the many responsibilities that are expected of them.
If there isn’t enough staff to go around, it’s impossible for elderly people to get what they need, no matter how well-intentioned individuals are. Managers cut corners when they hire people and employees cut corners when they treat patients. Quality of care declines while prices for the services rise.
In addition to a clear lack of resources, be they staffing, financial, or equipment, there are real biases when it comes to older people. Often, these stereotypes are hidden behind more visible layers and can take some time to surface. Few nurses would ever admit to being prejudiced, but if their actions say otherwise, there needs to be an honest discussion about how attitudes impact the quality of care.
Chris Zaal’s personal motto is: Helping people is the essence of success. It’s how he’s approached his business ventures and his personal life. In practice, it means looking for the win-win solutions that benefit everyone in the equation.
Having a moral compass doesn’t mean setting vague values. Many of the inefficiencies in the medical field are standard today, with many people unfortunately accepting the system as ‘the way things are’. For Zaal though, he considers how things should be rather than how they are.
After thinking through the long-term effects on Americans and their health, he knew that his moral compass would have to get specific. To know what causes to champion and which organizations to support, he had to look at some of the more complex inequities that plague the healthcare system.
How American Alliance Health Services Works
American Alliance Health Services is a company that was founded to help medical professionals fill in the many gaps they face. Chris Zaal can’t tackle every issue with elder care, but he can find creative ways to get patients and professionals the necessary services and technology to support their long-term health goals.
American Alliance partners with skilled, nursing, and assisted living facilities to bring staff the technology they need for risk assessments, chronic care management, lab services, and remote patient monitoring. It’s a comprehensive service that looks for ways to integrate modern techniques that can streamline elder care and eliminate much of the stress that surrounds it.
The company also educates patients about their options and offers preventative testing that can lead to early identification of anything from heart defects to dementia. Practitioners today are up against a wide variety of obstacles and don’t always have the time or inclination to both learn about the latest advances in their profession and explain them to patients.
Chris Zaal knows that having options is the only way that a person can make the right decision for them. Whether it’s the elderly patient or a family member, the staff at American Alliance Health Services looks for solutions instead of accepting problems.
Chris Zaal Looks Ahead
There have been a lot of successes in the past for Zaal, but he credits this less to his brilliance and more so to his philosophies. He looks for ways to help other people because he realizes how it affects him, his family, his associates, and his community.
Elder care is one cause of many that he supports, but it’s important to him. The more attention paid to this issue, the more likely it is that everyone will get the care they deserve as they get older.