The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the mental health of millions. From being inside all day to not being able to see your loved ones, this past year has taken a huge toll on many of us. While people of all ages have been suffering from mental health problems, the pandemic has had a significant impact on seniors. Luckily, many seniors have found positive support with telehealth.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth involves a variety of healthcare services that are available virtually. These office visits don’t require an in-person appointment. Instead, this type of care is given digitally using a cell phone, computer, or tablet with an internet connection. Telehealth is an umbrella term that involves several healthcare services, so it’s best to speak with your doctor to determine what virtual solutions they provide.
Related: 10 Tips for Your Telehealth Visit
How Can Telehealth Benefit Senior Mental Health?
While the pandemic has been hard on many of us, it’s been especially devastating for the senior community. As many of these people have been hunkered down for months, it has taken a massive toll on the mental health of these individuals.
Here are some of the reasons why telehealth can be very beneficial for seniors:
You Don't Even Have to Leave Your House
Many older adults are very reluctant to go to the doctor during this pandemic—and for good reason. Seniors are more at risk of developing a serious case of COVID-19. However, this shouldn’t mean you skip out on doctor visits to treat your mental health. This is where telehealth can be extremely beneficial.
Rather than taking the risk and leaving the house for an appointment, these office visits can now happen in the comfort of your own home. While getting directions and actually driving to the doctors can be stressful enough, going during a pandemic makes things even more stressful. Telehealth completely eliminates these in-person visits, leading to less worry and less stress.
The time it normally takes to receive any type of healthcare can be substantial. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic when hospitals and healthcare clinics have been flooded with people. While the craziness of everything can be harmful to your mental health, slow treatment times can also weigh you down mentally.
Many seniors claim that telehealth is a lot faster compared to the average doctor appointment. Just think about all the time it takes to see a physician in person. From driving there and back to sitting in the waiting room, a doctor's appointment can take hours. This can be detrimental to senior mental health, especially during these times.
Telehealth provides a fast and easy way to treat your mental health needs. And while some telehealth doctors are limited in their capabilities, most of them can provide several health services, such as:
- Diagnosing common medical issues
- Answering questions about at-home treatments
- Post-treatment checkups to track progress
- Prescribing and refilling medications
- Holiday, weekend, and late-night medical care
You would be surprised at how much a telehealth doctor can provide. Even a quick appointment can do wonders for those suffering from senior mental health problems. In fact, some patients notice an improvement after just one telehealth visit.
Effective for Treating Depression
Sometimes, simply having a conversation with someone can be helpful for our mental health. This is especially true for seniors who haven’t left the house in months. If you've been feeling depressed or simply want to talk to someone, telehealth can bring many advantages. Healthcare professionals are here to help you get through this difficult time.
Also, it's important to note that you’re not alone during this time. There are millions of people currently struggling with depression and mental health problems. As the COVID-19 pandemic means less time spent with loved ones, a telehealth professional can work through your feelings and try to make improvements.
Helps Decrease Stress & Anxiety
When dealing with senior mental health problems, many people deal with depression and anxiety. If these serious health issues aren’t treated, these problems can get much worse. While you may be reluctant to visit a doctor at this time, seeing a telehealth specialist can still help you overcome depression. These professionals can talk to you about how you’re feeling and help you find treatment options to best suit your needs.
Mental health issues continue to be a massive problem around the world. If you’re a senior struggling with your mental health, seeking telehealth can restore your happiness and improve your well-being.