The COVID-19 pandemic has created obstacles for seniors venturing out and seeking guidance from their medical care providers. Due to the high risk of being exposed to the virus, many seniors are home bound to help protect themselves from contracting COVID-19. Medical care remains a crucial element to seniors' way of life and many caregivers are trying to figure out ways to connect their seniors to their doctors.
Telehealth is the distribution of medical services and information via technology such as smart devices and video conferences. Telehealth allows medical experts to meet with caregivers and their seniors in live time without having to go and physically meet with their doctor, decreasing the chances of contracting COVID-19. According to a KFF study, medicare has lifted several restrictions on who can receive telehealth types of services, making it easily available for seniors.
As telehealth is creating widespread optimism in helping serve our seniors, it does pose problems. According to the University of California San Francisco, seniors do not have telehealth readily available due to lack of technological awareness, hardship in rural & remote areas, and lack of health in general.
With these issues, this is where caregivers can come in and help create positive telehealth generation for the seniors they care for. From teaching how to connect to doctors on smart devices and explaining benefits of meeting with doctors online, caregivers can alleviate the stress of seniors worrying they won’t be able to see their doctors during the pandemic. With telehealth, prescriptions can be fulfilled, pressing questions can be answered, and a sense of relief can be restored.
Earlier this month, The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced they will be expanding telehealth benefits for Medicare beneficiaries. This comes under the President of the United States’ new executive order, improving health care in rural areas of the country. With the help of CMS’s payment transition to telehealth, it has provided easier and affordable access for patients to see their medical providers, as well as stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19’s impact in society today has created a new normal for how caregivers care for their seniors. With telehealth and the expertise of caregivers' knowledge of technology, seniors can obtain the same care they so desperately need without having to leave the comfort of their home.