Staying Independent through Video Conferencing

Video conferencing helps seniors maintain independence while aging at home. It's not just about social connection, either--it has health benefits, too!
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Written by Staff Writer • Posted on Apr 13, 2015

Most people -- young and old -- want to be independent. Unfortunately, as we get older and our health outlook changes, it can be harder to stay self-sufficient. Luckily, there are new devices, programs and apps being created to help people maintain independence longer.

As more seniors embrace technology in their daily lives, many health professionals agree that computers, smartphones, tablets and other devices help older generations stay active and safe. From medical apps that supply medication management to home monitoring services that detect and report emergencies, innovations in tech are empowering seniors to live independently at home.

One technology making a huge impact is video conferencing. Just about every computer, tablet and smartphone has a camera built into it these days. With programs like Skype and FaceTime, you can chat with just about anyone around the world.

Video Conferencing Benefits

There are two major benefits to video conferencing. The first is social interaction. Many seniors find it difficult to travel, which limits the time they can spend with family and friends. Since cognitive and social health have a direct tie to one's number of positive social connections, these limitations can be hard on the emotions and the body. Seniors who use video conferencing to visit their loved ones enjoy decreased levels of depression and illness and increased motivation to remain independent.

The second benefit is improved access to medical care. Not only can family members keep track of any physical changes observed in their loved ones, but seniors can now communicate directly with healthcare providers for daily assessment and advice. Instead of missing an appointment due to travel difficulties, video conferencing allows you to consult with your doctor from the comfort of your own home.

These teleconference visits supplement your regular check-ups and take the hassle out of follow-up appointments, test results, medication refills, after-hours care, and doctor-to-doctor communication. Just make sure to use a service that is HIPAA-compliant, such as American Well, Teladoc, Carena, and iSelectMD, so that your medical information remains confidential. If this service interests you, talk to your doctor and your insurance company to see which services are preferred.

If you're determined to keep your independence, there are so many ways that technology can help to keep you safe, active and connected. Reach out to a friend, loved one, or medical professional through video conferencing today to see how this simple service can better your life!