Change is difficult for most people and it can be especially difficult for seniors. Although seniors have not embraced the new digital age as well as the younger generations, that has all changed in just the matter of a few months due to the coronavirus. COVID-19 has forced many seniors to adopt new ways of living and the biggest change has been using digital technology to communicate with their doctors and loved ones.
According to the Health Resources & Services Administration, telehealth is defined as use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration. Technologies include video conferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.
Although telehealth was slowly starting to become more normalized in the medical industry, the COVID-19 pandemic created a sudden shift in the need for telehealth to be more accessible and readily available. Telehealth is a great solution for those who are at higher risk of contracting the virus to avoid going to the doctor’s office and putting themselves at risk for exposure. Also, many seniors have a difficult time leaving their homes and have difficulty with their mobility. Telehealth allows them to not have to put their safety and health on the line by leaving their homes when they can reach a doctor right from their computer, tablet, or smart phone.
Using Technology for Socialization
Social interaction is a necessity for all seniors, especially if they live alone during a time like this. Social media, video conferencing, and other forms of digital communication have had a huge increase in usage within the past few months from senior citizens. Since seniors have a higher risk of contracting the virus, social distancing is a must, and this means little to no visits from friends and family. These digital forms of communication cannot be ignored by seniors any longer since this is now one of their only ways to connect with the outside world. Some great digital communication technologies include social media such as Facebook, or video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Google Hangouts. A quick search on Google can give you the steps on how to create an account or access these digital communication tools. There’s also many helpful tutorials and step-by-step guides on the Internet to help seniors get online and stay connected!
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