Technologies like telehealth, Zoom, and FaceTime have allowed people sheltering in place during the pandemic to communicate with family, friends, and healthcare practitioners. Despite the uptick in use, senior citizens suffering from dementia, hearing loss, and impaired vision may be unable to participate, according to an article in The Washington Post.
The article cites hurdles such as small icons, difficult-to-read typefaces, and inadequate captioning that hinder usage by those who may need the technologies the most, given their increased susceptibility to COVID-19.
According to the article, Landmark Health—a company providing in-home medical care to chronically ill patients—attempted remote care with its patients, only to discover fewer than 25% had access to the necessary technology and knew how to use it. The company is now piloting a program called “facilitated telehealth,” in which a nonmedical staff member brings devices directly to patients at their homes, and helps mediate telehealth appointments.
Several companies have also developed “senior-friendly” tablets loaded with apps designed for people 75+ or those with dementia.
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Source: The Washington Post