Regardless of the difficulties of pandemic-related restrictions on in-person activities, telehealth— which uses video conferencing and other technology to connect with patients and caregivers at home— offers a great chance to give healthcare access to rural residents and older persons with limited mobility.
In fact, National Institute on Aging (NIA) has funded researchers that have been pursuing new approaches to employ telehealth technologies to support and expand dementia care.
One example is the Care Ecosystem, a collaborative dementia care program delivered over the phone, which was launched by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Memory and Aging Center.
Care team navigators (CTNs), trained dementia care guides, are at the center of the Care Ecosystem. Each CTN educates and supports patients and caregivers and coordinates treatment with a team of dementia professionals, including a nurse, social worker, and pharmacist. The CTN will ask about current issues and seek to address acute concerns like caregiver stress. The CTN then helps the family plan for long-term care and connects them to community resources.
According to the study, participants experience significant improvements such as better health, energy, mood, living situation, memory, relationships; less caregiver burden and depression; and reduced number of emergency department visits.
By making dementia care and support more accessible through these programs, telehealth can help prevent dementia issues at home before a crisis happens. This reduces caregiver stress and improves the quality of life and personal care for people with dementia.
At Hablee home care & services LLC, a provider of home care in Fairfax, Virginia, we strive to provide the best care for your elderly loved ones while they remain comfortable in their own homes.