How Telehealth Can Help Boost Seniors’ Mental Health

Seniors make up a large percentage of our population. Estimates show that by 2050, one in six people in the world will be over the age of 65. With the population  of seniors growing so rapidly, telehealth can help create a safe and affordable way for this demographic to care for their mental health.

Mental Wellbeing From the Comfort of Your Couch

Telehealth offers the benefit of allowing you to see behavioral health specialists from the comfort of home. Seniors whose health benefits include telehealth coverage can simply make an appointment and have a one-on-one consultation with a therapist via video call. With the rise of technology and social distancing measures in place, telehealth can be a great solution for seniors needing care.

If you need some tips on how to introduce technology to a senior in your life, check out our blog post with helpful insights.

Trailblazing Talk Therapy

In 2014, the Journal of the American Geriatric Society published a study about a telehealth intervention called Integrated Telehealth Education and Activation of Mood (I-TEAM) which was used to treat depression caused from chronic illnesses.

Those receiving the I-TEAM intervention were compared with a control group who were undergoing standard in-home care. Researchers collected patient data at both three months and six months after enrollment. The results showed that after three months, patients receiving the I-TEAM intervention had significantly lower scores for depression than patients in the control group who were allocated to usual care with in-home nursing plus psychoeducation.

These findings appear to encourage the use of telehealth interventions to treat depression. It may be a good sign for seniors who are looking for ways to support their mental health using virtual methods.

Positive Outcomes During a Pandemic

One significant challenge for seniors during the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the respiratory disease caused by the virus (COVID-19) pandemic is social isolation. Social distancing regulations have made it harder and harder for seniors to receive visitors. For older adults, social distancing requirements have had an effect on their anxiety and depression.

To combat this challenge, many healthcare organizations and health plans that provide offerings to seniors are using telehealth as a solution. One company in particular scaled up its business efforts during the pandemic. AccessHealth, a federally qualified health center, provided solutions for seniors to get behavioral care using telemedicine, aided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)’ temporary policy to increase reimbursement opportunities for telehealth during the pandemic. By partnering with Zoom for Healthcare, seniors were able to have one-on-one sessions with a therapist from a video call. As a result, AccessHealth’s visits for mental health assessment increased by 10 percent.

Ready to get mom and dad on board with technology for their physical wellbeing as well? Here’s a helpful blog post with tips on using telehealth for a doctor’s visits, or you can contact us for more information.

The above content is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you have a medical condition.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.

 

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