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Telehealth is on the rise. In our digital age, it feels inevitable that something as important as our healthcare would go online as well, and since enduring a global pandemic that forced people and industries to re-evaluate the way of things, telemedicine has evolved exponentially. The positive impact it has had on our older population, especially, is encouraging for a healthier future. At a glance, telemedicine broadens healthcare access, increases chronic condition monitoring, and can reduce caregiver burnout. 

How Telemedicine is treating the senior masses

While one might think that “online healthcare” is alienating to an older population, especially one that is not as technologically inclined, telemedicine is actually opening doors through an easy-to-use approach to care. 

Streamlined Care

It allows for streamlined care with easily accessible information between patients, caregivers, and the healthcare team. Things like diagnostic and screening results (as well as the tools to perform them at home, in some cases) are available in healthcare apps, and therefore easily accessible to those who require the information in decision-making scenarios. Thus coordinating care is becoming more efficient and senior patients are able to be treated sooner. 

Chronic Disease Management

Virtual doctor visits are an efficient way to see the doctor, sooner. This can help mitigate unnecessary emergency room visits as well as expensive hospitalizations because patients with chronic diseases are seen more often and by varied healthcare providers. By remotely monitoring symptoms and through more frequent telehealth visits to discuss changes in medication effects, symptoms, etc., healthcare providers can assess their patients and provide solutions with ease.

Telehealth interventions are available to assist seniors affected by such health challenges as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Obesity

Remote patient monitoring assists seniors unable to leave their home with:

  • Measurement devices, such as wearable sensors.
  • Phone and online apps, such as symptom trackers.
  • Patient portals to support self-care and advocacy, as well connect healthcare professionls on the same page.

Increased Healthcare Accessibility

Not only does telehealth extend a doctor’s reach to those patients with mobility and other challenges who cannot leave their home, those older patients who might not have access to healthcare due to their geographical location now have healthcare access. By breaking these limiting boundaries, virtual visits, remote symptom monitoring, and even tech-enabled home medication administration help improve the quality of life for a wider number of Canadian seniors in need.

Telemedicine for mental health in seniors

Sadly, older adults often face social isolation due to hearing loss, chronic illness, living arrangements, and the eventual loss of close family and friends. While these factors can lead to depression, cognitive decline, and even heart disease, telehealth is now playing a role in combating these illnesses. Telepsychiatry is available for isolated seniors to be evaluated, undergo therapy, through patient education, and medication management. This is where the accessibility of virtual care is paramount to treating our older population with the dignity and care they deserve.

Caregivers also benefit from telehealth through an integrated support system that makes tracking and attending doctors’ appointments easier. And when the task list is endless, one less thing to go do is helpful. 

For a Progress and Potential report on the virtual healthcare in Canada, click here

If you or your senior loved one has any questions about how healthcare is prioritized at Verve Senior Living, contact us.

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