FOX25: Improving health and fighting loneliness for older Americans

by Mireya Garcia | Read More Here
Friday, September 25th 2020
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — More Americans depend on medicine during the pandemic, and a local senior living community is contributing to the trend. That’s because seniors are one of the high-risk groups when it comes to complications associated with COVID-19, but every Americans still has unrelated health needs during the pandemic. 
Physical health issues are also not the only potential problems at play.
“The pandemic has most certainly created some incredible challenges as many are well aware. Loneliness and isolation, as well as access to health care through this time, has been a great challenge,” says Courtney Hammond, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner.
Hammond works with residents at Concordia Senior Living Community, and it has rolled out its own telemedicine platform during the pandemic and says that it has both helped keep patient’s physical health safe and help fight against loneliness and isolation. No matter your age, isolation can be damaging to your mental state.
“Connect with their health care provider, to ask medical questions, to have that real engagement that they would be lacking simply making a telephone call– face-to-face interaction, which is so vitally important,” says Hammond. 
Telemedicine has been a tool used to help rural communities and now serves to help people limit their risk of infection especially if they belong to a high-risk group.
“Telemedicine is not the same as laying your hands on a patient, and we fully recognize that, but it certainly has its place and it is pretty incredible what a patient or resident in our community will be able to tell you to help guide you to diagnose and treat effectively,” says Hammond. 
Depending on your insurance provider, you might have access to a telemedicine service 24/7. Large hospitals have also started their own services that include a full video call or just a phone call. A doctor can then let you know if you actually do need to come in for care in person or if you can be treated and get a prescription immediately.