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Telehealth and The Elderly

March 9, 2022

The elderly and technology are generally not usually the best of friends. This is because the older generation has grown up in a time where letters and telephone calls on a dial phone were the only means of communicating with the outside world.

Technology can be extremely complicated for those who have never used it before, but this does not mean that it is impossible to learn.

It is important to bear in mind that telehealth has been designed to be easy to use for senior citizens who have little or no knowledge when it comes to technology.

But what exactly is it about telehealth care that can significantly change the lives of your elderly loved one for the better?

In this article, we will reveal why telehealth care is a much needed and important instrument to have in the latter years of a person's life.

Why Telehealth is Important for TheElderly


Many people start to develop more health issues as they age. Unfortunately, for some, access to healthcare facilities can become extremely challenging as most elderly people have trouble leaving their homes without some kind of assistance.

Telehealth is a relatively new concept and allows patients to see a doctor remotely in the comfort of their own homes or care facilities via live video as well as messaging. In turn, this reduces the need for face-to-face visits with doctors and other healthcare providers.

The Advantages of Telehealth


With so many advantages, telehealth is fast becoming one of the most convenient ways to allow the elderly, especially those with limited mobility to access a health care provider without having to leave their homes.

Telehealth is especially advantageous for family members who have many other responsibilities such as work, home life andl ooking after their children.

Other advantages include the reduction of overall costs, travel expenses, and time that is taken off work to care for your elderly loved one.

At the same time telehealth allows you asa caregiver to consult with the health care provider remotely no matter where you may be situated should you have any questions or need to raise concerns about the health of your loved ones.

Using Telehealth To Manage CertainConditions


Telehealth is the perfect way to allow both patient and caregiver to have direct access to healthcare professionals and clinics.

This gives thousands of families the perfect way to manage a multitude of common conditions that their elderly loved one may be facing as well as ways in which to treat them.

Telehealth can be used to manage the following healthcare needs in the elderly:

Ongoing Care and Managing Treatment Regimes


Telehealth is a great way to keep a tab on your loved ones' treatment and medicine regimen. It can also help you or your loved one with information on how to take the medication as well as ideas on ways to keep themselves healthier through diet and exercise.

Assistance with Frail Patients


Frail patients who are unable to travel to a doctor's office can greatly benefit from telehealth services. Health care professionals will be able to assess and address any concerns that the caregiver or patient may have and prescribe medication to ease any pain or discomfort that the patient may be feeling.

Managing Chronic Diseases


Chronic diseases are a major concern for the elderly as well as their caregivers. Telehealth gives the patient the ability to report back to the doctor on any problems that they may be experiencing as well as give feedback on the progression of the chronic illness that they are suffering from.

Telehealth is the perfect way to keep healthcare professionals updated so that they can treat chronic conditions as well as assist patients by prescribing certain medicines to keep them comfortable.

Palliative Care


Many elderly people prefer to stay at home with their families when dealing with a terminal illness. Telehealth gives you and your loved one a way to stay in contact with a doctor, especially as your loved one's health starts to deteriorate by giving you both home care information and medication to ease any pain.

The Challenges of Telehealth for theElderly


Unfortunately there are some challenges can hamper an elderly person's ability to be able to access telehealth services.

Limited Access to Technology

Sadly, many senior citizens refuse to use modern technology or quite simply cannot afford the devices needed to access telehealth.

Phone calls in the absence of these devices can still work for simpler telehealth services, but not having the correct device does have limitations and will hamper a practitioner's ability to give their patients better care.

No Prior Experience with Technology

Your loved ones may have top-of-the-range devices that were given to them as gifts. More often than not, this device hasbeen gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere.

There is no point in having a device available for your loved ones to use if they have no idea how to turn it on!

This is where patience has to be practiced and time has to be taken to help your loved one to adapt to digital communication as well as know-how to troubleshoot any problems that may arise.

Teaching Your Loved One How to Use Telehealth


It may seem hard at first, but eventually, with a little persuasion and some clear instructions, your elderly loved one willbe able to use telehealth platforms with complete success.

When teaching your loved one to learn how to use Telehealth platforms it is important to consider the following:

WriteDown Concise Instructions and Take Pictures


First things first. Teach your loved one how to take photos as well as how to upload them from their devices. Often doctors require pictures of any rashes, bumps, or bruises to assist with a diagnosis and the correct treatment.

If your loved one has trouble remembering what to do then write a step-by-step guide on a piece of paper for them to look at when they are trying to access the platform by themselves.

MakeSure to Have No Distractions


Once you have taught your loved one a little more about technology and telehealth it is time for your loved one to put practice to the test.

Stay with them and let them try on their own. Be sure that they are in a quiet room with no distractions so that both doctor and patient can hear each other during the call.

StrongInternet Connection


If you have successfully empowered your loved one on how to use telehealth on their own there is nothing more frustrating than having a bad internet connection.

Make sure that the Internet connection being used is secure and that it is based in a part of the house that has the strongest signal.

ThinkCarefully When Deciding on a Pharmacy


Once a doctor has decided what medication is needed to treat the patient, they will send an electronic prescription for medication to a pharmacy of your choice.

It is important to remember that while different pharmacies may be used for prescriptions it is usually a good idea to stick to one pharmacy to prevent any confusion.

This is especially true if it's a pharmacy that your elderly loved one has used for a while as they would be more familiar with your loved one and the conditions that they suffer from. 

Once your elderly loved one has been taught how to master telehealth technology it can be an extremely useful tool to use to significantly improve their access to health care without the extravagant expenses of normal healthcare services.

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