Preparing Seniors for Virtual Health Appointments
With the COVID-19 pandemic still holding sway over most of the globe, virtual health appointments are occurring more. Telehealth and telemedicine are a natural fit for providing health care, and ideal for complying with the social distancing directive. Virtual healthcare is especially effective and useful for in-home senior care because senior living generally involves more stay-at-home time than it would for younger patients. With this in mind, here are some recommendations for preparing seniors for virtual health appointments.
Prepare the technology
Whatever technology you will use to conduct the telehealth session should be prepared prior to the session, so you don’t waste time trying to get things working during the consultation. Once you’ve checked out your virtual technology components, find a good quiet spot around the home to conduct the session.
Write down your conditions and questions
Have your pre-existing conditions written down, along with all the medications you take, so you won’t have to fumble around for them during the session. This can help the meeting go more smoothly, and will avoid wasting time. Any questions you have about your overall health or about specific symptoms should also be written down, so you don’t forget them. By the same token, be prepared to write down any answers to these questions, or any recommendations from your doctor about health care.
Take your vital signs
If you know how to do this, it can expedite the session to have your blood pressure and other vital signs taken before the session starts. If you have a friend or loved one in-house who can do this for you, ask them to do it prior to the telehealth session. Write down the results so they can be discussed with your doctor. If you are over 80 years old or at-risk to the Corona Virus, it’s essential that your temperature and blood pressure are taken and reported at each virtual health session.
Ask about next steps
Be prepared to ask your doctor about any next steps you need to take for your personal care. If a face-to-face meeting is necessary, make sure you understand when and where that should happen, and how you should prepare for it. Don’t forget about any medication refills you need, and ask your doctor to provide a summary of your visit in an email.
Senior in-home care