LIVE at HOME. Your Goal. Our Priority!

888-895-PACE (7223)*

*not for medical emergencies or to discuss participant details

LIVE at HOME. Your Goal. Our Priority!

888-895-PACE (7223)*

*not for medical emergencies or to discuss participant details

Benefits of Telehealth for Older Adults 

old man and daughter on laptop

How Virtual Health Care Benefits Older Adults

Making Seniors Comfortable With Telehealth Technology

Before the COVID pandemic, many of us could not have imagined virtually meeting with our doctor from our living room. In the two years following March 2020, virtual health visits grew by more than 3,000 percent. According to McKinsey research, there were 150 million telehealth claims in that time period.

This switch was a helpful alternative for many older adults. In some situations, there are barriers to seniors’ accessing quality health care—including transportation. Telehealth eliminates the need for an older adult to find transportation to and from their appointment, as well as a caregiver to potentially accompany them to the visit. This is especially helpful during the winter in Cleveland when walkways and roads can be dangerous for older adults with mobility challenges: You don’t have to worry about the snow, ice, and cold temperatures impacting your ability to receive important medical care.  

Even as the pandemic has eased, telehealth technology has continued to evolve. While some emergency situations will require in-person care and treatment, routine appointments can continue to be done virtually. We are seeing this increasing with follow-up appointments, sharing laboratory or test results, or discussing medicine changes and refills. However, there’s one obstacle: Some older adults are still uncomfortable with using a computer or smartphone. They may have cognitive impairments that limit their ability to use the technology, or hearing and vision problems that make it difficult to navigate the online system.

In this case, a caregiver or a family member can play a role in helping them become more comfortable and benefit from the convenience of virtual health care.

  • Walk your senior through their home technology setup. Show them how their computer or phone is plugged in and connected to the Internet.
  • If possible, in advance of their telehealth visit, make sure their electronic device is fully charged and turned on. 
  • Depending on their comfort level, show them how to do some of the basics using the technology: checking in for their appointment, turning on their video camera, and adjusting the volume. 
  • If your schedule allows, plan to act as a support person to your senior during the visit. This will give them peace of mind and allow them to focus more on what their doctor or care professional is saying, rather than worrying about using the technology.

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