Healthcare providers are faced with many challenges when it comes to caring for the elderly. The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, coupled with the limited resources available, creates a difficult situation for families and professionals alike.
However, technology offers solutions that can revolutionize the way we treat seniors in America, improving their longevity and quality of life.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that approximately 56 million adults who are 65 years old and above reside in the United States, making up roughly 16.9% of the country’s population.
It is expected that the number of older adults will exceed 73.1 million by 2030, with more than 1 in 5 individuals being of retirement age. By 2050, the total number of adults aged 65 and older is estimated to reach 85.7 million, comprising approximately 22% of the entire U.S. population.
In this article, we’ll explore how new technologies like telehealth and artificial intelligence will help improve healthcare for seniors.
Telehealth is the use of technology to provide healthcare services to patients in their homes, workplaces, and communities. These include video conferencing, phone calls, emails, and text messages. It can also be used to connect patients with doctors or nurses who might otherwise be inaccessible due to geographic distance or lack of availability at specific times.
M Health Intelligence reported recently that according to the 2022 survey findings, there was an increase of 8 percent in the number of respondents using telehealth for healthcare services, with 80 percent of all participants indicating that they have utilized this technology at some point.
The results also showed that telehealth usage has expanded among several historically underrepresented groups. Particularly, respondents who were 55 years or older experienced a 12 percent increase in telehealth usage, rising from 64 percent in 2021 to 76 percent in 2022.
Online Specialty Education for Nurse Practitioners
Online specialty education for Nurse Practitioners (NPs), such as post-master’s gerontology certification online, provides advanced training and knowledge to NPs who wish to specialize in gerontology.
This education equips NPs with the knowledge and skills needed to provide comprehensive care to elderly patients. The curriculum includes training on the latest technological innovations in healthcare and how to use them to improve care for elderly patients.
Additionally, post-master gerontology certification online courses teach NPs how to effectively communicate with elderly patients and their families, provide holistic care, and manage complex health issues associated with aging. This specialized education helps NPs provide targeted, personalized care to elderly patients, leading to improved health outcomes and a better quality of life for this population.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
EHRs are electronic systems used to track patient information. They can be accessed by multiple healthcare providers, who can assess a patient’s medical history and recent test results.
EHRs help prevent medical errors by providing a consistent record of treatment plans, medications, and allergies. The patient’s primary care physician may also be able to coordinate with specialists or other doctors involved in their care through this system.
Elderly patients should consider using EHRs because they can provide continuity of care if they move from one hospital or doctor’s office to another or need assistance after being discharged home from the hospital.
Wearable Health Devices
Wearable health devices are a good way to monitor your health. They can be used to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, and other indicators of well-being. Wearable devices can also be used to detect falls or sleep apnea, both common issues for elderly patients that often go undetected until they become severe enough to require hospitalization.
According to Healthnews, patients can utilize wearable sensors to monitor their symptoms from the comfort of their own homes. By observing patients’ daily movements and activities in their home environment, medication adjustments can be made more accurately. The device not only detects and reports muscle movements but also records the timing of medication intake, making it even more effective.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring is a way for patients to stay in touch with their healthcare providers. It allows them to track their health data, like heart rate and blood pressure, from home or the hospital. This technology has enabled healthcare providers to deliver proactive care to elderly patients, particularly those with chronic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension.
AI can help physicians make more accurate diagnoses and choose treatments based on individualized patient data. AI also provides patients with access to their medical records and enables them to take an active role in managing their health through mobile apps or wearables.
Artificial intelligence is being used today by doctors, nurses, and other health professionals who are looking for ways to improve patient care while reducing costs at the same time.
Digital literacy refers to the ability to use technology effectively, and it is becoming increasingly important in the care of the elderly. Digital literacy is helping elderly patients to access healthcare more easily as telehealth and other remote technologies become more prevalent.
It is also helping healthcare providers to communicate with elderly patients more effectively, enabling them to share information, provide education and guidance, and monitor patients’ health more closely.
Additionally, digital literacy is helping to reduce isolation and loneliness among elderly patients by enabling them to stay connected with loved ones and participate in social activities remotely.
We hope you have a better understanding of how technology can improve the lives of older people. However, it’s important not to overlook the human element when designing these systems. Research shows that people want face-to-face interactions with their caregivers to feel confident about making decisions about their care, especially as they get older.