Telemedicine for Alzheimer’s: How Can Professionals Use This To Help?
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can be challenging to cope with, especially if it’s happening to a loved one. Since these are very serious mental conditions, caring for patients experiencing these may not be as simple as just “helping” them in daily activities. In order for our loved ones to fully cope with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, we should be able to provide adequate medical assistance and the appropriate therapy. Thankfully, we can acquire these kinds of treatment from healthcare professionals and care providers.
However, if you want to improve the kind of care your loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia can receive from their care providers, you may want to consider availing telemedicine services for them. This service enables care providers to be able to reach your loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia while overcoming the boundaries of travel and distance, enabling professionals from far away to provide adequate assistance to your loved ones.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is a medical concept that pertains to “healing at a distance.” It aims to maximize the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to be able to reach clients and patients to provide healthcare despite geographical boundaries. At its core, telemedicine will be able to help health professionals provide education to other professionals, as well as research and evaluation, treatment and prevention of disease, and valid data for diagnosis for clients.
According to the World Health Organization, telemedicine has four cornerstones. Each of them aims to improve our usage of existing technologies to provide long-distance care. These include:
- Telemedicine’s main role is to provide health care support for providers and professionals.
- Telemedicine is designed to be able to connect users at a distance, enabling doctors and other health care providers to connect with their patients.
- Telemedicine primarily uses various forms of ICT available to them. These may be modified according to their needs.
- Telemedicine aims to primarily find ways to improve the welfare of the patients and clients of care providers that use it.
Telemedicine for Alzheimer’s, Patients With Dementia
With the above taken into consideration, patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia may actually take advantage of telemedicine concepts to be able to receive the best care they may need without caregivers and other providers having to travel all their way to their homes. Here are some of the methods telemedicine can care for patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia:
- Proper diagnosis and assessment from a distance: Given the benefits of telemedicine, doctors and other experts will be able to provide professional diagnoses and assessments of the progress of your loved one with Alzheimer’s even if they’re away from you. This benefit can greatly aid in the welfare and treatment of your loved one, especially if people capable of doing specialized treatment for your patient with Alzheimer’s and dementia can’t immediately go to your area. Thanks to video calls, teleconferences, and even phone conversations, these doctors will be able to talk with you and explain your loved one’s current condition as though they’re with you.
- Conduct treatment methods and give instructions: Patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia need special kinds of treatment and therapy tailor-fit for their conditions. Preferably, we should have caregivers and professionals conducting therapy live for their clients. However, should these options not be available, telemedicine enables them to instruct people near the patient to conduct the therapy themselves. Moreover, people with Alzheimer’s and dementia that can understand the professional’s instructions from over the phone may be able to do the therapy themselves.
- Reminders from a distance: Thanks to telemedicine, care providers that aren’t able to provide care for their clients on a full-time basis will be in the position to provide reminders to their patients. Instead of simply relying on calendars, pre-recorded messages or perhaps even actual calls to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients would be able to provide these clients with a comfortable human presence that can motivate them to take their medicine and stay on top of their mental condition.
- Provide company whenever they need it. Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia are mental conditions that can have a detrimental effect to anyone’s mental and emotional health. Aside from treatment, patients with these conditions need constant treatment and therapy to keep their minds alert. However, perhaps most importantly is the need for a constant human presence to provide patients with the kind of company not all family members and caregivers can provide. Even if such a presence is provided at a distance, human companies can greatly aid in boosting the morale of patients.
Telemedicine: Help Seniors, Patients with Alzheimer’s and Dementia
With the above in mind, it’s important to remember that telemedicine can be of assistance to patients of Alzheimer’s and other dementia conditions, primarily because of its ability to give more health care professionals the capacity to reach their patients despite geographical and distance boundaries. Telemedicine, thanks to various improvements in technology, can put medical professionals in a better position to provide care without having to physically be present, enabling patients to reduce costs and for doctors to be readily available for other patients who need their presence.
If you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, consider asking your health professional and care provider if they have telemedicine services available.