Telemedicine allows patients to connect with doctors and other medical professionals over virtual platforms like Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or some other virtual meeting application. When doctor appointments take place like this, the patient is on her computer, phone, or iPad, usually at home. The doctor is on his device in his office.
Telemedicine does not require the doctor and patient to see each other. The most basic telemedicine is a phone call with no faces and no special software.
Telemedicine, also called “telehealth,” got a big kick in the pants from COVID-19. The use of these virtual doctor’s appointments is on a steep incline. And many, many more seniors are signing up for them every day.
While a minority of people over 65 will hold out for in-person meetings, quite a few seniors prefer virtual appoints. Virtual visits reduce the risks associated with sitting in a busy doctor’s waiting room, then seeing up to three different nurses and accountants before getting an audience with a doctor. In the future, you can assume that people like your parents will drive the market for improved telemedicine by walking away from providers who refuse to offer it.
What telemedicine can do
Telemedicine is a great option for seniors with well-managed chronic conditions. After all, if your mother or father takes his insulin as prescribed and follows dietary guidelines, there’s no particular need for him or her to visit a doctor’s office in person just to say, “All is well; no changes needed, please.”
Telemedicine is also extremely useful for:
- Treating colds and sinus infections
- Treating rashes
- Medication management
- Primary care check-ups
- Mental health consultations and talk therapy
- Initial consultations with specialists
- Urgent care evaluations
If a primary care doctor or specialist thinks a condition is serious, the patient may still have to go to the hospital or to a clinic for blood work, urine samples, fluids, etc.
How to set your senior up for successful telemedicine appointments
To make sure that your senior gets the most out of his telemedicine appointments, you will want to read the guidelines set up by the health provider and make sure your loved one can comply. If a specific software has to be downloaded, be sure to do that well in advance of the meeting. Also make sure that the device your loved one is using has a working camera if that’s required.
You should also check the device’s sound system to make sure that both parties will be able to hear each other. Be sure you don’t have anybody on mute. Set the device up in a quiet part of the house or apartment. Make sure that the device is positioned at a comfortable height so that your loved one can sit in a comfortable chair or even lie in bed as needed during the appointment. If you or your loved one has hired a senior care professional for home help, this person can help with clearing the device for action.
If your mother or father consents, you can attend the appointment with him or her. Your parent will need to disclose that you are listening in early in the session, or you can just pop into the screen and say hi. Doing so allows you to take notes and ask questions.
Senior care professionals can also be asked to attend these appointments and take notes for you. They can present a medications list to the doctor, with your parent’s permission, and ask follow up questions, as needed.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Health Care in Ardmore, PA, please talk to the caring staff at Better Care Home Health Services LLC today. Serving individuals and their families in Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery, and Bucks counties. Call Today: (267) 766-5218
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