Many seniors suffer from mental health conditions but find it hard to access a doctor. They are suffering with physical disabilities as well as cognitive decline on top of the mental health conditions which make it hard to travel to a doctor for help. Telemedicine is making it easier for these seniors to access the help that they are wanting.
Telemedicine is a concept that allows patients to have an online psychiatrist using telecommunication technology. With the population growing rapidly more and more seniors are needing some type of psychiatrist. More doctors and organizations are now offering video or audio online appointments for these mental health problems. Many senior care living facilities and even home caregivers are trying them out.
While it’s easier for seniors to use technology to call their psychiatrist, younger adults are using it as well even though they are physically able to get to a office. These programs are increasing personal interaction which is extremely valuable to patients who are suffering with depression or anxiety or even loneliness.
Seniors who also live in rural areas where there are limited psychiatrists around them will benefit from Telemedicine. They can now be properly diagnosed and treated faster than before. The online therapy does come with its challenges for elders. For one, you have to have some kind of knowledge about technology and be able to have time to set up the equipment needed for proper connection with a virtual psychiatrist. A lot of tablets, phones, and computers are not designed with the elderly in mind. Many seniors will find it hard to hear and see the buttons and keys that need to be pressed. President and CEO of Encounter Telehealth, Jen Amis says that many seniors are already comfortable with Skype-like technology, because this is what they use to communicate and stay in touch with their children and even grandchildren.
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