It’s recommended that older adults and people with chronic health conditions stay home right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many at-risk individuals feeling isolated and vulnerable. More than ever, technology is essential for maintaining connection with friends and family since we can’t meet in person.
The current circumstances are creating the perfect opportunity to bridge the “digital divide.” With the right tools and a little bit of creativity, meaningful connection can be maintained from a distance. Families can plan weekend social events by meeting over video conferencing. These tools can also be used for daily check-ins and ongoing communication with loved ones.
Personal and Professional Support
Not only do the right technologies keep families connected, but these tools can provide valuable resources for people of all ages to access telehealth care from home. Medical services have quickly adapted to the situation, making it possible for patients to talk to physicians and other healthcare providers digitally.
Insurance providers are also working to make digital healthcare more accessible. For example, Medicare recently expanded coverage for more patients to receive telehealth services.
Since patients over the age of 65 have a higher risk of Coronavirus complications, checkups and doctor visits can be completed without the need to leave the house. It’s estimated that seven in 10 people who are 65 or older have a smartphone, computer, and/or tablet at home. These devices can be used for telehealth appointments, but many aging adults need support to learn how to use the apps.
Digital Education for Aging Adults
Here are a few links that might help you and your loved ones navigate these digital tools:
- State of California Department of Aging – Resources to promote connectivity through technology.
- Alzheimer’s San Diego – A “tech team” to help local residents get comfortable with Zoom.
- Safety and Health – Digital tools that can support in daily activities and monitoring to promote healthy habits.
- San Diego Oasis – Virtual classes to help older adults learn more about technology while staying connected to an online community
At Windward Life Care, we understand the importance of connection. If you are looking for local or digital resources to help you or a loved one weather the pandemic, then we invite you to contact our team to learn about your options.