With clinics becoming overwhelmed, telehealth has become a staple service for the elderly — especially since they’re at a greater risk of catching a virus. True enough, a telehealth survey found that seniors’ use of remote clinical services has increased by at least 300% during the height of the pandemic. This became the trigger for a “boost” in demand for telehealth services, as more seniors and their families experience its convenience.
In fact, if you haven’t availed a senior telehealth service until today, here are some reasons why you should:
It’s no secret that healthcare is more expensive for the elderly, simply because they’re more prone to diseases and chronic illnesses. In 2019, the average senior needed to pull out $3,789 from their long-term savings for healthcare-related expenses. Many have even skipped out on treatments because of the costs. Fortunately, remote consultations tend to be less expensive than in-person visits. The latter can cost as much as $150 per visit, while online portals may only charge $80 or so. Incidentally, the availability of telehealth has also encouraged patients to seek care for minor illnesses like coughs and hay fever, allowing them to avoid bigger costs should it evolve into something more serious.
Access to the right healthcare professionals
Even though you’re not located in the same area, online portals and telehealth apps can connect you with a professional that can tend to your needs, like a geriatrician or rheumatologist. And while the US is facing a huge doctor shortage at the moment, there are many other healthcare professionals you can get in touch with virtually.
For example, a pharmacist can directly give you prescription medication and explain how to take them properly. Meanwhile, geriatric nurses, one of the most in-demand careers in nursing, will be able to share their expertise in preventive care for the elderly. Whether it involves specific health issues like osteoporosis or mental health issues like Alzheimer’s, geriatric nurses are more than capable of managing your senior’s preventive care plan. No matter what kind of senior care you need, telehealth can help you acquire them.
Improved patient outcomes
There are plenty of things about telehealth that allows it to improve patient outcomes. For instance, it gives medical professionals a hassle-free way to conduct follow-up check-ups, letting them know if the prescribed treatment plan is working or not. This step is important for older patients, as their bodies are frailer and thus need more attention.
Telehealth can also be found in medical facilities, specifically in remote monitoring equipment like kiosks, store-and-forward cameras, as well as telemedicine carts. ICU patients who were telemonitored even showed a 26% reduction in death rate and decreased their ICU stay by 30%. Since seniors in the ICU tend to stay longer with higher mortality rates, telehealth can greatly increase their chances of living a longer life.
Telehealth has many advantages, from lower costs to better outcomes, that can help seniors stay healthy. All you need to do is find the right telehealth software that can cater to your needs.
Article written by Roanne James
Exclusively for knowyourmeds.com