How Telehealth Services Are Improving Senior Care

Remember when teachers used to say something along the lines of, “You won’t be carrying around a calculator in your pocket,” when you tried to use one math class? A couple of decades later, we have access to nearly every resource you can imagine, right in our pockets — including healthcare.

Telehealth exploded during the pandemic, but now it’s here to stay, and for good reason. Access to telehealth services offers numerous benefits, and it’s a convenient, more affordable option to treat both mental and physical health issues, particularly for seniors and their caregivers.

The Advantages of Telehealth for Seniors

One of the biggest benefits of telehealth is that it expands access to healthcare providers, especially for people living in remote areas that may not have a wide range of practitioners. Telehealth can even be used within a doctor’s office to connect the doctor and patient to a specialist from anywhere in the world. Not only does this improve care and health outcomes, it also helps the patient’s doctors form a comprehensive care team.

In addition, telehealth is incredibly convenient. There’s no need to drive to the doctor’s office and sit in the waiting room — you can visit with the doctor from anywhere, right on your phone or computer. For seniors with limited mobility and those who don’t drive, this greatly simplifies doctor visits and makes accessing healthcare a more comfortable experience.

An added benefit of avoiding doctors’ offices and clinics is that it reduces exposure to viruses and bacteria. This is particularly helpful for seniors, who generally have much less effective immune systems, especially during flu seasons or other epidemics.

Finally, telehealth has become an increasingly popular way to access mental health services. Many people find it easier to open up to a therapist or mental health professional from the comfort of their own home or another environment where they feel safe and relaxed.

How Seniors Can Take Advantage of Telehealth Services

Around 67% of seniors already use the internet regularly, and internet service and a computer, smartphone, or tablet are all you need to access telehealth services. Plus, most private healthcare plans cover telehealth visits, and Medicare is also covering many telehealth services at least through the end of 2024.

There are a couple of different ways you can set up a telemedicine appointment for yourself or your senior loved one. Many doctors’ offices and other healthcare facilities have begun offering online appointments, so you can check with your or your loved one’s regular physicians to see if that’s something they can do.

There are also several national healthcare companies that specifically focus on telehealth, such as Teladoc Health and MDLive for general healthcare and TalkSpace and PlushCare for mental healthcare. One of the great things about these services is that they’re designed to be accessible and affordable for those without insurance coverage. Most of these companies charge low flat fees for appointments, prescriptions, and more.

Challenges and Considerations

Before setting yourself or your senior loved one up with a telehealth appointment, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, if your loved one doesn’t have much experience with technology, they may need assistance with the telehealth platform. It’s a good idea to be there with them for the first appointment to ensure they can log in correctly and navigate the website or app.

Second, since health information is highly personal, it’s important to make sure your loved one understands basic internet safety to keep their data and communications private. This includes things like creating a unique, hard-to-guess password for their account and using only established, reputable telehealth services.

Right Hand Care: Your Partner in Modern Senior Care

Telehealth offers incredible advantages for seniors, making healthcare more affordable, convenient, and comfortable — which we strive for at Right Hand Care as well. Our in-home care services are designed around each client’s individual needs, and our compassionate caregivers provide quality care in the comfort and convenience of the home environment.

If you’re looking for affordable, reliable at-home care from dedicated professionals, contact Right Hand Care today.

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