Finding ways to get to and from a physician appointment can be tough for older adults who have given up driving or live in rural areas. This is especially true if adult children live far away or work during the day. For some seniors, lack of transportation is a barrier to getting quality health care on a regular basis.
Consider trying virtual physician visits, sometimes known as telemedicine. The technology has gotten better and easier to use. Insurance companies and Medicare will cover some e-visits and telehealth services.
If you are an older adult or a family caregiver, here are a few things to be aware of about virtual physician visits.
4 Advantages of Virtual Physician Appointments
- Safety from viruses: It should come as no surprise that physician waiting rooms are filled with sick people. Infections and viruses may be tough for a senior, especially one with a weaker immune system. Meeting with your physician online eliminates the risk of catching a bug in their office.
- Fewer distractions: Doctors’ offices are very busy places, and patients often say they don’t get the attention they need. The physician may be distracted by other staff and patients. Some patients who have taken advantage of virtual appointments say they found their doctor to be more attentive and focused.
- Less waiting time: If you’ve been to a physician’s office in the last few years, you’ve probably spent more than a few minutes waiting. It can be stressful and aggravating. When you schedule a virtual physician visit, your home is your waiting room. You can fold laundry, do the dishes, or just relax.
- Access to specialists: Patients who’ve been diagnosed with a chronic health condition or life-limiting illness often want a second opinion. Accessing specialists can be tough, especially for people in rural communities with fewer physicians. Through the magic of technology, a patient in Nebraska can meet with a physician in New York without ever leaving home.
Before you schedule your first appointment, however, there are a few questions to ask the staff at your physician’s office:
- Is the technology easy to set up and use?
- Is the senior’s internet fast enough?
- If you run into problems, who is available to help?
- Will your senior loved one’s insurance or Medicare cover a virtual visit? If not, how much will it cost?
Leave the Transportation to Us
One of the most popular services at Five Star Senior Living is transportation. The community’s staff can arrange for transportation to physician appointments, local outings, shopping centers, and more, giving seniors and their family members peace of mind.
Call the Five Star community nearest you to learn more about the wide variety of services we offer, including transportation.