Telemedicine took off in early 2020 as a way to safely and remotely treat patients. Since then, the benefits of remote treatment have become clear, causing more doctors and patients to enjoy telehealth services regularly. While it might not be the right solution for every case, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of the benefits telemedicine offers. You might be surprised at how useful and versatile it is.
Usually, when people talk about telemedicine, they’re referring to video or audio chats with their doctor. However, the definition is a bit broader than that. Did you know that telemedicine can also be conducted by phone? In addition to physicians, telehealth services can be used with psychologists, physical therapists, and a wide range of other medical professionals.
Simply put, telemedicine is medical care that you receive remotely in the comfort of your own home.
The important thing to remember about telemedicine is that it’s more useful for some applications than it is for others. In the best cases, a doctor may be able to diagnose urgent medical conditions or review lab results without having to schedule an in-person appointment. Telemedicine can also be useful for working with recurring conditions you’ve already discussed with your doctor or for managing prescriptions.
However, don’t forget that a wide range of medical conditions still need to be examined in person. More serious or life-threatening conditions should always be handled in person, as well as those that require a touch-based physical examination. Of course, always follow your doctor’s lead when deciding.
Overall, telemedicine is a good option for older adults, as it allows them to receive medical care without leaving their home. However, don’t forget that factors like visual impairment, dexterity, and cognitive issues can affect an individual’s ability to use it effectively.
If you’re still not sure whether you’re on the telemedicine bandwagon or not, take a look at some of the benefits that have convinced older adults all across the world.
Whether you have chronic mobility issues or just a tight schedule, telehealth is a great way to take the hassle out of your regular medical care. If you frequent appointments for recurring conditions or prescriptions, a 15-minute telehealth session will be much more efficient than an in-person visit. Of course, seniors who use mobility aids or who aren’t able to drive will benefit even more from a remote visit.
In some cases, telehealth can also allow doctors to keep a closer watch on their patients without placing any extra strain on their schedules. Remote patient monitoring uses Bluetooth devices to take remote weight, heart rate, and blood pressure readings, without the need for an in-person visit. This can be especially important for chronic illnesses like diabetes and autoimmune conditions, which require close monitoring over a long period.
While hospitals and doctors' offices might seem like clean places, the truth is that they’re often one of the most common places for diseases to spread. By allowing seniors to make some of their doctor visits remotely, the chance of contracting an illness can be drastically reduced.
Home caregivers face a lot of everyday challenges, from assisting with hygiene tasks and cooking to driving and managing medications. If they’re not careful, all this work can quickly lead to caregiver burnout, a serious mental health condition.
Telehealth can help by simplifying doctor visits and cutting down on transportation times. This can make a huge impact on a caregiver’s schedule, letting them give better care and have more time for themselves.
While stereotypes seem to indicate that most seniors don’t prefer telehealth, research shows otherwise. While many seniors still have mixed feelings about using telehealth for regular medical care, the vast majority of them found it easy and convenient to use. You may have your own opinion, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s not a popular option.
In many ways, a telemedicine visit is the same as a regular doctor visit, though there are a few extra factors to keep in mind. To make sure you’re ready for your first telehealth appointment, be prepared with these tips.
Telemedicine coverage is becoming more and more common in insurance plans, though it’s still a good idea to check and see if your plan covers it or not. The best way is to simply get in touch with your insurance company or Medicare provider and ask if there is a deductible or copay. Keep in mind that many insurers expanded coverage during the pandemic, and your coverage may have changed since then.
Most people who have a working computer and stable internet connection are already equipped for a telehealth visit. However, it can be helpful to run through this simple technology checklist to make sure you’re ready go to.
Doctor’s offices are designed to be comfortable, clutter-free, and private, so make sure you choose the right spot in your home for your telehealth visit. Ideally, find a place where you can close the door to avoid interruption. Position your computer on a stable surface, and sit somewhere where you can stay comfortable for at least an hour.
In addition to the technological side of connecting via telehealth, there are also all the documents and paperwork you need to bring to a regular doctor's visit. Keep this checklist handy for review before your next appointment:
While adopting a new technology always comes with some challenges, the truth is telehealth services are one of the most straightforward options out there for seniors’ medical care. Letting you save time, stay connected, and get the medical access you need, it’s no wonder telehealth visits are becoming more and more common. If you still have questions or concerns about telemedicine, get in touch with your doctor today.