Home Gesundheit Gesundheitsversorgung für ältere Erwachsene in der COVID-19-Ära

Gesundheitsversorgung für ältere Erwachsene in der COVID-19-Ära

von NFI Redaktion

COVID-19 has changed the way we do everything – especially when it comes to doctor visits. Older adults are at higher risk for complications from the coronavirus, so it’s best to avoid unnecessary exposure. But sometimes you need to see the doctor in person. And what if you need to go to the hospital? We asked experts what to expect and how to get the best care after some restrictions have been lifted.

What to Expect

Despite COVID-19 guidelines leading to changes in safety restrictions, healthcare facilities still maintain high standards and protective measures, says Marc Rabinowitz, MD, specializing in Internal Medicine in Bucks County, PA.

„The lifted restrictions do not apply to healthcare facilities,“ says Rabinowitz. Safety protocols such as masking and social distancing still apply in medical facilities like hospitals and nursing homes.

At Your Doctor’s Office

Safety protocols continue to be in place at doctor’s offices to protect patients and staff from COVID-19.

Here are some things you can expect:

  • Masks may be required.
  • Doctors and staff may wear masks and gloves.
  • Waiting rooms may have fewer people at once.
  • Visitor numbers may be limited.
  • Staff may regularly disinfect and sanitize.
  • The office may be set up for social distancing.

Some medical facilities still restrict the number of visitors, so your family or caregiver may have to wait outside. However, they can still be involved in your visits, says Alexis Halpern, MD, geriatric emergency physician at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Your doctor can call your family or speak with them via video chat to keep them informed and involved in decision-making.

In the Hospital

„Please do not stay at home out of fear of being exposed to the virus during your hospital stay or contracting the coronavirus,“ says Halpern. Hospitals have protocols in place to protect you from illnesses.

Many new safety protocols from the beginning of the pandemic are still in effect, along with some new ones.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Doctors and staff wear personal protective equipment like masks, face shields, and gloves.
  • Masks may be required.
  • Visitor numbers may be limited.
  • You may need to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.
  • You may be tested for COVID-19.
  • A temperature and symptom check may be conducted upon arrival.

Hospitals are as safe as ever, if not safer. Don’t avoid them if you need care.

Get help immediately if you experience severe chest pain, shortness of breath, one-sided weakness, or difficulty speaking clearly. These are signs of a heart attack or stroke that require immediate attention.

A Rise in Telemedicine

Many doctors now use telemedicine, also known as telehealth. This means you can speak with your doctor remotely on your phone, iPad, or computer via video platforms like Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, and WhatsApp.

Telemedicine is safe and convenient. You can reach out to your doctor or get answers to questions without leaving your home. Your family can be involved even if they are far away. It is covered by Medicare and commercial insurance. Protocols may vary depending on the state you live in.

Telemedicine is well-suited for routine visits, check-ups, and consultations. You can tell your doctor how you’re feeling or show them symptoms.

For other matters, office visits are best. Your doctor may need to check your blood pressure, listen to your lungs, take blood samples, or perform a physical examination.

Your doctor will help you decide which type of visit is best for you.

The Future of Telemedicine

Telemedicine is likely here to stay.

Telemedicine won’t completely replace doctor visits but may become a regular part of your care.

Maleh notes that many of his patients come in-person for annual check-ups and then use telemedicine for follow-up conversations. „That’s the direction we’re heading as patients prefer using telemedicine as a convenient option when it may not be necessary to be seen in the office,“ he says.

New Trends in Long-Term Care

Alongside safety requirements, many changes have occurred in long-term and specialty care facilities. The pandemic has left lasting traces on how these facilities operate and how easy it is to find care there.

Staff shortages have led to the closure of many facilities or operating at reduced capacity. Many healthcare workers have left the workforce since the start of the pandemic. Some fear being exposed to people who may have COVID, while others have turned to private work to potentially earn more, says Maleh.

More and more people are now caring for their loved ones at home and hiring home care. Many have transitioned to remote work, making it easier to care for their loved ones.

„There is clearly an advantage to being at home, as you have no contact with other people who are ill or may become ill,“ says Rabinowitz. But it can be harder to find help. „The healthcare staff shortage has led to a dilemma in providing optimal care for the elderly,“ he says.

How to Get the Best Care

These resources can help you find care.

  • The Eldercare Locator can provide you with local information on housing, support services, healthcare, and insurance.
  • Alliance for Caregiving provides information on caregiving, home care, nursing homes, and finances.
  • BenefitsCheckUp.org can help you determine if you qualify for financial assistance for food and medication.
  • Programs like FamilyWize, GoodRX, and NeedyMeds may offer discounts on prescription medications to help offset the increased costs of care due to the pandemic.

Related Posts

Adblock Detected

Please support us by disabling your AdBlocker extension from your browsers for our website.