Date: January 6, 2021 | Category: News
Three Care Connection senior centers are offering private spaces and computer use for older adults who would like online video telehealth visits with their healthcare providers without leaving their communities.
Senior Centers in Osceola, Warsaw and Wheatland have set up a dedicated spaces where older adults may connect with a physician or other provider via the Internet for a telehealth visit. The spaces will include Internet access, a computer, and instruments so that a patient can measure his own vital signs such as oxygen level, blood pressure, heart rate and weight.
Care Connection is piloting the program in Benton, Hickory and St. Clair counties.
“We want to give older adults the opportunity to have private, online visits with a health care provider without the hassle of traveling, waiting at a clinic, and worrying about exposure to COVID-19,” Executive Director Diana Hoemann said.
Care Connection for Aging Services suspended its volunteer-based Provide a Ride Program for medical appointments in March 2020 because of COVID-19 exposure concerns; leaders hope this new spaces, combined with increased offerings of telehealth by doctors, will help older adults stay in touch with their providers and receive the healthcare they need.
Telehealth increased by more than 50 percent in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which noted that the increase was 154 percent during March 2019.
Older adults who are interested in using the space and equipment at the centers may call to make an appointment: (Warsaw 660-438-3300, Option 1; Rivers Crossing Life Center in Osceola 417-646-8292 or the McCarty Senior Center in Wheatland 417-282-6100.)
The service will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the centers. The use of the space is being offered free of charge to people 60 and older; contributions are always accepted.
For older adults who still want to travel to the health care providers’ offices, the agency offers a consumer-directed transportation program. For that program, the participant must find a volunteer to provide transportation. For more information on that program, call the senior centers or contact Penny Humphrey at 1-800-748-7826.