Access to healthcare has always been a requirement for many seniors, however the COVID-19 pandemic showed us that many people do not need to visit a doctor or hospital in-person. Many hospitals and physicians started adapting to telehealth and communicating to patients via electronic devices such as phones and tablets. Patients could "visit" their doctors from the comfort of their home. allowing patients to take care of their health while reducing their risk of contracting the coronavirus. While the increase of telehealth has prevented many people from making unnecessary trips to the hospital, seniors have had some difficulty adjusting to this model. However, Telehealth Access For Seniors, a non-profit organization founded by students, is paving the way to help senior patients in need of assistance with telecommunication by providing devices, tech-support, and other resources.
Telehealth Access For Seniors enables seniors and low-income communities with devices, instructions, and free tech support. This is immensely important because many seniors may not know how to use their devices for telehealth means and thus may have trouble communicating with their physician. This organization aims to remove the education barrier between technology and seniors and equip seniors with the means to telecommunicate. There are a number of ways that Telehealth Access for Seniors does this. They provide printed guides and free tech support via email and phone calls. This non-profit organization also accepts donations, including devices. By using these devices, seniors cannot only communicate with their healthcare providers but also with friends and family. Thus, another goal of this organization is to relieve the stress related to the pandemic that many seniors may be experiencing.
Telehealth Access For Seniors has made great strides when it comes to improving access to telemedicine for seniors and low-income communities. They are a system that spans over 26 states and is made up of 325 volunteers and 92 partner clinics. They have also donated 2000 devices and raised $100,000. Clearly, this non-profit has made an incredible impact in a short time. Telehealth Access For Seniors has a unique mission and in the long run, the use of telehealth "has been proven to increase compliance, reduce patient costs, decrease hospitalizations, and provide more personal care."
Michelle Raja, a student at Stony Brook University, says, "Millions of Americans find themselves suffering from chronic conditions but unable to contact their physicians because they do not have access to camera-enabled devices. I realized there was a simple solution - connect older Americans to donated devices we can collect from family, friends, businesses, schools, and more. I am a student at Stony Brook and I helped start a non-profit, Telehealth Access for Seniors, to do this." Although providing seniors with devices seems like a simple solution to a big problem it has many beneficial effects. According to Telehealth Access For Seniors, digital connectivity "has been proven to decrease the loneliness epidemic, increase activeness, and reduce wellness costs."
As one can see, this non-profit organization has made a tremendous impact on telecommunication especially when it comes to access for seniors.
For more information about donations and getting involved you can visit their website and email the recruitment coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.