Anyone who has tried to convince their beloved grandma or grandpa to switch to a smartphone understands just how daunting the world of technology can be for seniors. Now, imagine encouraging them to have their doctor's appointment over a video call. Yes, that's right, a video call. The concept of telehealth — using digital information and communication technologies to manage health care — is gaining traction. And it's proving to be a lifesaver for seniors. This advancement enables older adults to receive medical care from the comfort of their homes, reducing the risk of potential exposure to illnesses.
However, navigating this new healthcare approach might be a bit overwhelming for seniors and their caregivers. But don't worry. We're here to guide you on how to make the most of these telehealth doctor visits.
Prepare in Advance for Telehealth Visits
Just as you would for a physical doctor's visit, preparing for telehealth consultations is imperative. Discuss with your senior loved one what they want to address during the appointment. Do they have any new symptoms or concerns about their medication? Having this discussion beforehand helps create an organized list of topics to discuss with the doctor.
Compile a List of Medications
Next, compile a list of all current medications — both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including any vitamins or supplements your loved one is taking. This can be a valuable reference point during the consultation.
Get the Technology Set Up
Setting up the technology for the visit is just as important. This may involve installing specific software or apps and ensuring a stable internet connection. You'll also want to check that the camera and microphone work by doing a test run. Remain patient and supportive to relieve any tech-related stress for your elderly loved one.
Ensure Effective Communication During Telehealth Visits
Clear communication is critical during a telehealth visit. Encourage your senior to speak clearly and be open about their symptoms, concerns, and questions. If your loved one has hearing or speech difficulties, they might need your assistance.
Encourage Them to Speak Up
Remind your loved one that asking the doctor to repeat or explain anything unclear is okay. This can be especially beneficial when discussing complex topics like a new diagnosis or a change in medication.
The Value of Consistency in Routine Check-ups
Consistency in routine check-ups is immensely essential, especially for seniors. Regular appointments allow the doctor to monitor their overall health, keep track of any recurring issues, and adjust medications accordingly.
Just because these check-ups are happening online doesn't mean they should be taken any less seriously than in-person visits. In fact, telehealth does an excellent job of bridging the distance gap, especially for those in remote or quarantined areas.
Work With Senior Helpers Thousand Oaks
Transitioning from traditional to telehealth doctor visits can be challenging, especially for seniors. However, with adequate preparation and clear communication, telehealth can indeed be a boon. It allows seniors to receive the care they need without leaving their homes.
Are you in Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Oxnard, or Newbury Park and need help with making this transition smoother for your senior loved ones? Contact us at Senior Helpers Thousand Oaks. Our dedicated team is here to offer assistance, ensuring seniors make the most of their telehealth visits. Let us walk this journey with you, and help make healthcare accessible and convenient for your loved ones.