Though the journey to find a treatment or vaccination for the coronavirus is still underway, thousands of Americans are losing their lives. As the virus quickly spreads and compromises bodily functions, the need for sheltering in place and social distancing remain. These recommendations are especially important for the elderly population. While vital to their health and well-being, these lifestyle changes make it hard for them to get the care they need.
Pandemic Fears Reduce Patient Visits
Recent reports have found that seniors have avoided routine doctor’s appointments, treatments, and surgeries out of fear of contracting the coronavirus. Many prefer to suffer in silence rather than run the risk of falling ill. This habit, of course, has adverse consequences. Neglecting their physical and emotional well-being could result in worsening health and a lowered quality of life.
Telehealth Services Offer a Practical Solution
Recognizing the decline in elderly patients, medical experts nationwide have implemented telehealth services. These are virtual doctor’s visits in which patients can obtain the care they need while remaining safe at home. With a reliable internet connection and an internet-capable device, seniors can see their doctors, get screened, address any questions or concerns, and gain access to the medications they need to maintain proper health.
If you or an elderly relative is interested in telehealth services during the pandemic, getting started is easier than you think. Simply follow these steps provided below:
Find a Participating Provider
The first step is to find a medical professional that offers telemedicine services. It shouldn’t be too hard since many medical practices have switched to this type of healthcare for non-COVID-19 patients. Once you’ve found a doctor or medical specialist you’re interested in, you’ll need to determine if they take your insurance to avoid a high bill. If you don’t have any insurance, you can always check out Health.com’s reviews of best Medicare Advantage Plans.
Schedule an Appointment
After finding a healthcare provider that offers telehealth services and accepts your insurance, the next step is to schedule an appointment. While some sites allow you to complete this step online, others require you to call in and speak with a receptionist. When planning your meeting, don’t forget to provide details on the reason for your request. That way, the doctor can be prepared to give you the best treatment plan.
New patients are also required to complete intake forms before their appointment. These forms should include contact information and your medical history. You’ll also need to request your medical records from your previous doctors, specialists, or hospitals to provide your new doctor with relevant data to provide proper care. Try to put in these requests in advance as it can take a bit more time amid the pandemic.
Write Down Questions and Concerns
You’ll have a small window to talk with your doctor about your health. Therefore, it is best to have a list of questions and concerns in advance. Write down any symptoms you’ve been experiencing and how long you’ve been experiencing them, and any questions about treatments.
Setup For Your Appointment
The final step to preparing for your telemedicine appointment is setting up. Though you can have an appointment from virtually anywhere, it is best to do it in some comfortable and quiet place. Find the best spot in your home for the meeting. You should also make sure that you have the right device to access the video conference with your doctor. If you need assistance, ask a relative to help you in advance, so there aren’t any technical difficulties.
Though the idea of contracting the coronavirus (or passing away from it) is alarming, you can’t allow it to prevent you from doing essential tasks. To weather this chaotic storm, your health must come first. Therefore, embracing technology like telehealth services is an efficient way to stay on top of things no matter what tomorrow may bring.