Telemedicine for Seniors: A Growing Trend in Senior Care
At a time when people of all ages are encouraged to stay home to protect their health, going to the doctor's office can be a risky endeavor. This is especially true for seniors, who are at a greater risk of COVID-19 and its complications. Fortunately, many doctors and hospitals are offering an alternative for situations where going to the medical facility isn't necessary. Not only does this reduce the number of people who may come in contact with an infected person at the hospital, it reduces the strain on medical professionals at this busy time.
We're talking about telemedicine for seniors. These services have been used for 40 years, but they've started to expand in the wake of COVID-19. Technology has long played a role in improving the quality of senior living, and telemedicine is part of it.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is real-time interaction between you and your doctor via electronic communication. Medicare identifies three types of telemedicine services for billing purposes:
Medicare Telehealth Visits
The idea is to avoid an in-person clinic visit while still getting the help and attention you need. During your virtual consultation, you and your doctor may decide an in-person visit is necessary, after all. In other cases, your healthcare provider may be able to offer advice or write a prescription based on your needs.
Benefits of Telemedicine
There are a lot of benefits for patients using telemedicine:
You avoid unnecessary exposure to people who may be infected with COVID-19 and other illnesses.
You save time because you don't have to drive to the clinic and wait until your doctor is ready.
You don't have to go to a new facility to see a specialist.
It's more affordable.
It's less stressful: you can stay in the comfort of your own home.
It's especially useful for those living in rural settings, where healthcare facilities are far away, or for those who can't drive or have a difficult time getting around.
You don't have to take time off work or find accommodations for pets or anyone who might be in your care.
It may improve your health: instead of ignoring your symptoms, you might be more likely to set an appointment because it's so much simpler than going to the medical office.
How to Get Started
Check with your insurance company to see how telemedicine is covered, then discuss it with your doctor.
Just as with going to a doctor's appointment at the clinic, you may like to have someone with you during your telemedicine appointment. That person can take notes or simply offer moral support. If you're doing some type of therapy online, this person can help you with equipment or exercises.
Senior Helpers South Shore serves the greater Boston area, including South Shore, Quincy, Braintree, and beyond with 24-hour home care for your senior loved one. Whether you're looking for around-the-clock care or a companion to stop by and help with chores or be there for a telemedicine appointment, our highly-trained, compassionate caregivers can help. Contact South Shore Senior Helpers to learn more.