PM Health HUB

Telehealth News & Blog

Telehealth for Seniors

May 2024

Are you senior or elderly or do you look after an aging family member?

Would you like to consult with an online doctor via telehealth from the comfort of your own home?

Telehealth and online doctor consultations give patients the opportunity to connect with healthcare providers remotely, from the comfort of their own homes or any location across Australia. This benefits individuals of all ages, including seniors and their carers.

Seniors and the elderly often face unique challenges when it comes to accessing healthcare.Mobility issues, transportation constraints, and chronic health conditions can make traditional doctor visits difficult. Telehealth offers a solution by providing convenient access to medical care through online video consultations.

One of the primary advantages of telehealth for seniors is its accessibility. With just a few clicks or taps on a smartphone, tablet or computer, seniors can connect with an experienced Private Medical GP online, without having to travel long distances or navigate busy waiting rooms. This convenience not only saves time but also reduces the stress and physical exertion associated with in-person medical appointments.

Regular and check-ups and monitoring are often crucial for managing chronic health conditions prevalent among seniors. Through virtual online video consultations, your online doctor can assess symptoms, adjust medications, and provide timely interventions to prevent health complications. A proactive approach to healthcare can lead to better health outcomes and improved quality of life for seniors.

Telehealth may seem daunting at first to seniors and the elderly. In a recent paper by the Australian Journal of General Practice,barriers to utilising telehealth for older people included digital literacy, trust in technology and physical and cognitive challenges.

To help seniors navigate using telehealth, here are our top tips:

1)      Familiarise yourself with telehealth technology: Take some time to become comfortable with the technology needed for telehealth. AUS Study of older adults found that the usability of a video telehealth platform was rated higher for participants already familiar with the technology.

To attend an online doctor appointment with an experienced Private Medical GP, you will need an Internet connection and access to a device with a working camera and microphone.

Your device can be a smartphone, an iPad or other tablet, a laptop or desktop computer.  You can test your device’s camera, speakers, and microphone here. Please make sure your device is plugged-in or fully charged during your online doctor consultation. You can receive E-scripts, and other correspondence, from your doctor or health provider by email and SMS.


2)      Choose a quiet, well-lit, and private space to attend your Private Medical online doctor video consultation: Find a quiet and well-lit area in your home or any Australia-wide location for your telehealth appointments. Minimising distractions and ensuring good lighting can help you communicate effectively with your online doctor.


3)       Make a List of Questions and Concerns:Before your Private Medical telehealth appointment, write down any questions or concerns you wish to discuss with your online doctor. This will help ensure that you make the most of your time together. Remember to note down your online doctor’s medical advice for future reference.


4)      Ask for Help if Needed: Don't hesitate to ask a carer, family member or friend for assistance if you are new to using telehealth services or if you encounter difficulties with telehealth technology. Many carers and loved ones are happy to lend a helping hand in navigating new technology tools. If you have a hearing or vision impairment, be sure to let your Private Medical online doctor know, so that they can accommodate your needs during your telehealth appointment.


5)      How Carers can help: Carers can help elderly dependents use telehealth technologies and communicate effectively. Older people may have health conditions that impede on fine motor skills, strength and device handling. Poor vision, hearing and cognition can also hinder virtual/online communications further. For those with cognitive impairment, especially dementia, individualised support and assistance from carers is essential. Carers can assist elderly dependents to engage effectively with telehealth services.  


6)      Give Feedback: If you have any feedback or suggestions for improvement regarding your telehealth experience, please share them with your Private Medical online doctor. Your input can help enhance the quality of medical care for you and other seniors in the future.


7)      Be aware of when an in-person doctor visit is more appropriate: Telehealth and online doctor appointments are NOT suitable for medical emergencies. Please call 000 immediately if you are experiencing:

- Chest pains

- Uncontrolled bleeding

- Poisoning

- Constant vomiting

- Serious breathing problems

- Or any other emergency medical concerns


Telehealth and online doctor appointments are NOT suitable for serious medical conditions, or where close visual and physical examination is required,for example:


- Traumatic injuries

- Vomiting or coughing up blood

- Delirium or loss of consciousness

- Burn injuries

- Chest pain

- Lacerations

- Broken bones

- Ear or eye infections or injuries


To discover the conditions that telehealth can safely assist with, please explore Private Medical’s full range of telehealth services.


8)      Be reassured: If you experience any technical issues at the time of your Private Medical online doctor consultation, such as a lost internet connection, your online doctor will attempt to reconnect immediately, and you will be invited to rejoin the video consultation. Failing this, your doctor will attempt to call you by phone. If you cannot connect with your online doctor via video link or phone, our administration staff will reschedule your appointment for another time that suits you or offer a refund.

In general, telehealth and online doctor appointments present a valuable opportunity for seniors and their carers or family members to access timely and convenient healthcare services. By embracing telehealth technology and following these tips, seniors can be empowered to manage their health and well being and confidently take advantage of telehealth services - online doctor consultations.

If you would like to book an online doctor appointment for yourself or someone in your care, please book a telehealth appointment online here or call our friendly administration team on 135 001 to book a telehealth appointment over the phone.  

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