Ensuring that senior Canadians have access to care for managing health issues associated with aging is essential. Reducing the current challenges in senior care will lead to a better quality of life for elderly Canadians.
As the healthcare system struggles to keep up with the aging population, remote patient management will be essential to care for more people. With remote care, more patients access essential care, specialty care, and connect with their care circle.
Common Challenges in Senior Care
In traditional senior care, restricted mobility puts patients at risk for limited access to healthcare services. Approximately 1 in 5 Canadian seniors suffer from mobility issues, which impacts their quality of life and access to care.
Loss of partial or full mobility is a common concern among older adults. Early intervention and education around lifestyle changes is important for preventative care and letting the patient know they have control over the outcome. With the current strain on providers, many do not have enough time to educate their patients.
Access To Specialty Care
The highest determinant of satisfaction with specialty care is related to accessibility. Right now only 53% of people aged 55+ can see a specialist at least once in the past year, and 23% of this group had to wait over 6-months for this appointment.
Patients who receive senior care are less likely to end up in the hospital. However, the rate of doctors specializing in this practice within Canada is not growing at the same rate as demand. As the aging population increases, the healthcare industry will be required to find ways that expand reach with a limited number of providers.
Staying Connected With Loved Ones
The current method of caring for senior patients does not adequately bridge the gap between them and their loved ones. The loneliness and isolation that results from this disconnect puts seniors at a higher risk of developing heart disease, depression, and other illnesses. The cause of this is most commonly the death of a spouse, lack of contact with family and friends, or lack of accessible transportation.
Managing Chronic Illnesses
Senior patients currently face barriers to managing chronic illness as a result of costs, confusing processes, and long wait times. Chronic illnesses require regular care and check-ups to be treated effectively.
As Canada’s population ages, there will be an increasing demand for care on an already strained healthcare system. To ensure all senior Canadians get the care they need, providers will have to find ways to decentralize and provide care to more people.
Overcoming These Challenges With Remote Patient Management
In the next ten years, 23% (>9.5 million people) of Canada’s population is expected to be in the 65+ age group. Remote patient management will be essential for extending the reach of providers and making sure each patient receives adequate care.
Virtual patient management allows providers to care for more patients by reducing involvement with each patient. Furthermore, providers can recommend online resources for preventative senior care. Providers can also manage patient wellbeing with online vitals tracking and monitor for changes.
Expanding senior care remotely removes mobility barriers for patients while virtual communication tools reduce the challenges of getting to a clinic. Additionally, educating patients on video calling and messaging as a form of communication further improves their comfort levels with the technology.
Improving Care For Seniors With Modern Healthcare Solutions
Many of the challenges to senior healthcare can be mitigated with remote patient management. When more patients have access to remote patient management solutions, the overall strain on the healthcare system is reduced. By reaching more patients, properly managing chronic illnesses, and preventing social isolation with online solutions, we will see Canadians live their senior years with an enhanced quality of life.
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