Telehealth is one of the biggest medical tools of the future. Since it became more common during the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has proven to be an easier, more accessible way for people to be seen by their primary care doctors or other specialized health care professionals. The benefits of telehealth for older adults are unmatched, though – they can definitely benefit the most from receiving care from the comfort of their living room couches.
The Benefits of Telehealth for Older Adults
Older adults may be the people who need the most care, yet it's not accessible for many of them. Regular visits with your doctor are an important part of taking care of your own health, as a regular checkup can help you establish a baseline on your health and detect issues sooner.
Older adults may need to talk to their doctors more often than younger adults. Fortunately, telehealth and future innovations will work together to provide ample benefits for older adults.
1. Care From Anywhere
Over 2 million older adults are homebound and unable to leave, which can make it difficult for them to get the proper care they need for their own health. Telehealth allows them to get some of the care they need right at home. If they need to come for an in-person visit, the doctor can help them arrange transportation to the clinic.
By having more telehealth options, older adults will be able to access the care they need whenever they need it. If they have a question for their doctor, they can connect with them more easily than by setting up an in-person appointment. Care from anywhere is an essential benefit of telehealth becoming more popular in the future.
2. Patient at the Center
With all health care, patients should be at the center. Telehealth services put patients at the center always. They might not have to wait a long period to be seen by their doctor, who might have time in their office between in-person appointments to talk to a patient remotely.
In this way, older adults may get seen faster than if they were to go to the office in person. Video calls can also give health care professionals a look into a patient's home life and their surroundings so they can tell whether the patients are taking care of themselves.
3. No Additional Fees
One thing many people watch out for is how hidden fees work in the medical field. Because one of the benefits of telehealth for older adults is that they can be seen by a doctor anywhere, they may have no hidden fees.
These ways of seeing a doctor are more accessible for many people, as they may not have to pay the price of an in-person visit. If they do have to pay, it shouldn't be more than a regular copay. Older adults may be more willing to get medical help remotely if they know it won't cost them as much as they’re used to.
Why Telehealth and the Future Are Intertwined
Telehealth was an essential part of health care during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time, many people switched to seeing their primary care doctors online – and they weren't just older adults. Telehealth and the future go hand in hand because, now that society has the technology to make it happen, it's here to stay and will only improve with time. Telehealth made it possible for people to save money when getting care from anywhere in the world.
In the future, you might see telehealth pivoting to even more accessible channels. Video chats and phone calls will become common ways for older adults to be seen by their primary care doctors. Other forms of telehealth might be communicating with doctors through text messages or saving in-person visits for things that can't be discerned through a digital screen.
Telehealth and the Future: What You Need to Know
Learning about telehealth and the future means understanding just how it has affected the accessibility of medical care for people who need it most. Many of the benefits of telehealth for older adults can also extend to others. While adopting new technology might be challenging for some people, it can have unmatched rewards when it comes to people monitoring their physical and mental health. Telehealth is part of the future, and it will only improve patient health care, especially for older adults.