The traditional health and wellness routine for seniors included regular visits to the doctor. These visits were essential to monitor health conditions, assess the efficacy of their medications, and speak about any concerns they may have. However, the ability to see a doctor in person was challenged during the coronavirus pandemic. Although telehealth has been around for years, it came to the forefront in 2020 – not just as a solution for seniors but patients all over the country. Now that in-person visits are once again possible, many have realized that telehealth is a fantastic solution as we move forward.
As stated, the recent health crisis has brought telehealth to the forefront – but it is not a new concept. Although the telehealth idea primarily consists of virtual physician appointments over a video call, telecommunications and technology solutions are revolutionizing all areas of medicine. Modern telehealth services provide additional services such as remote monitoring of patients, online health education, and the virtual storage of medical imaging and charts.
Benefits to Seniors
While people of all ages benefit from telehealth’s flexibility, it can significantly benefit senior citizens. Seniors often have mobility issues, may not have reliable transportation, and may be afraid to go out into public. There are some barriers to seniors enjoying telehealth, such as a lack of experience with technology. A recent survey showed that only one percent of seniors have ever experienced a virtual doctor’s visit – but over 50% were willing to try it out if someone showed them how. If you are trying to convince your senior loved one to try this type of service, here are some benefits that you can point out:
- Ease of Management: Prescription refills and management of chronic health issues for seniors can be facilitated easily and efficiently with telehealth. A senior citizen living with a chronic condition with no new symptoms to report can renew their prescriptions over telehealth.
- Reduce Transportation Issues: Many senior citizens no longer drive and rely on friends or family members to make it to important appointments. Between visiting the doctor or labs and pharmacies, this can be quite an undertaking. Reducing the amount of driving will ease the stress of the seniors – and those who help them daily.
- Minimize Exposure to Illness: Doctor’s offices are typically clean and sterile, and the risk of exposure to illness (especially these days) is small. Still, the possibility does exist. Older adults with compromised immune systems may be more comfortable staying home and not being among other patients. Telehealth provides the same consultation without the risk of germs and infection.
- Mitigate Emergencies: Many seniors procrastinate when making a doctor’s appointment because of the hassle of getting there, the wait for appointments, or other reasons which can cause anxiety. Unfortunately, this may lead to avoiding an appointment when they are experiencing changes in their condition or problems with their medication. This can result in a minor issue becoming a major concern over time. When seniors are comfortable with the telehealth process, they are more willing to set up appointments when they have small concerns. Telehealth can also minimize the need for emergency room visits, as many seniors who do not have transportation will call EMS when they have a medical situation, even if it is not a true emergency.
- Provide Freedom in their Lifestyle: The opposite end of the spectrum is the senior who has no mobility issues and lives an active life. For those who travel or have a busy social calendar, these types of virtual services can allow them to do so and still keep up with their appointments and prescriptions.
Seniors who live in assisted living should access the facility’s wifi connection to make calls to their physicians.
A Banyan Residence is committed to our resident’s health and wellbeing. If you are looking for a professional and compassionate assisted living or memory care center in Venice, call us today.