During the pandemic, we have taken advantage of evolving technologies to gather with friends and family, work remotely from home, and connect professionally via synchronous meetings. With the introduction of video conferencing to the personal and professional worlds, it is possible to connect with people across the globe from the comfort of your own home.
The use of smart devices such as phones and tablets, as well as computers to connect with patients is now becoming standard practice across the United States. As behavioral telehealth continues to evolve, practitioners, therapists, and specialists seek efficient and comprehensive ways to engage with their patients.
Seniors say they are using technology more than ever before for their healthcare, to stay informed, to communicate with friends and family, and for entertainment. A survey by healthinsurance.com found the overall use of telehealth services among seniors increased 300% during the COVID-19 impact.
Having the option of telehealth makes receiving the proper care much more comfortable and convenient for those living in nursing homes. Some patients in senior facilities are quarantined or isolated due to the pandemic, so it is important they have a way to bring the services to them.
Engaging online is comfortable for many people. People are increasingly turning to the internet for their emotional and psychological needs – especially those in nursing homes – so the idea of seeking help online is becoming more mainstream. Surveys have found that almost 80% of Americans use the internet to seek mental health information. Behavioral telehealth fits right in with the practices people already engage in.
Some patients fear seeking behavioral health help because the associated stigma is very real. They may fear others finding out they’re seeking help. Other clients may have issues with leaving their home or feeling safe in an office setting. Being able to engage in therapy in the comfort of their home or other secure space can eliminate these barriers.
Others simply can’t make it to an appointment because they can’t drive, are dependant upon a caretaker bringing them to appointments, or don’t have a car.
One of the most-often cited reasons for not seeking mental health care is poor accessibility. This lack of accessibility may be due to a client’s geographical distance, a lack of appropriate providers in a particular region or even a client’s inability to leave their senior living facility for some reason.
Being able to provide behavioral telehealth services can help alleviate the shortage of clinicians in a particular area. Clients can have access to more options.
With behavioral telehealth, geographical distance or location becomes far less of an issue. With relative ease, a client and clinician can connect electronically. Suddenly, the miles between them become a non-issue.
Behavioral telehealth is convenient. Clients can access help when they want to, how they want to and choose a clinician who can meet those requirements. And they can access help from wherever they are.
Not being able to travel used to mean a canceled appointment for sure. Now, clients can arrange to see their therapist no matter what life tosses in the mix. With the internet being available almost anywhere now, being able to access help when and where you want it has never been easier.