How Seniors Can Monitor Their Health from Home

By on June 18, 2020
Health

During the COVID-19 pandemic, senior citizens and people with underlying health conditions have been advised to remain at home as much as possible to protect themselves from the virus. To monitor their general health or any medical issues, seniors can do a number of things from home. Here are some examples of how seniors can oversee their non-urgent health updates or concerns.

Online Health Resources

Although the internet is packed with a range of health advice and disease-specific guides that range from the absurd to the truly helpful, seniors can be advised by their doctors as to which websites may offer valid medical information. Some people refer to Web resources like WebMD or the Centers for Disease Control, among others. After learning which medical health websites are reliable, they can become a resource when needed to check symptoms or find answers to questions. Usually, these sources are a starting point for assessing the basic symptoms of a non-serious nature before contacting a medical professional.

Home Test Kits

Many new medical tests can be performed at home by the person instead of waiting to see a doctor at the office. An at-home thyroid blood test is one example along with urine tests to check for infection and blood glucose level checks for diabetic patients. COVID-19 at-home test kits are being developed to get more people accurately tested for the virus as soon as possible. Certain types of preliminary vision tests, mobility evaluations, and aural checks can be performed at home with or without the help of a medical professional.

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Personal Medical Equipment

A surprising amount of medical equipment can be used by people at home as long as they know how to use it correctly. A stethoscope can check to see if the person’s heart is beating too quickly or too slowly or if it seems to be erratic. A typical body thermometer has been used for decades to monitor whether a person has contracted a fever above the usual normal body temperature, and if so, that can be reported to the doctor for advice. Many people keep a blood pressure cuff at home to ensure their pressure remains at a safe level. During the coronavirus pandemic, some seniors are using a pulse oximeter that can be placed on a fingertip to check the person’s oxygen level and heart rate. Questions or problems can be conveyed to the attending physician by contacting his or her office.

Telemedicine

Doctors and nurses as well as other medical professionals are now conducting at-home visits via telemedicine. Using videoconferencing technology, the doctor and the patient can discuss medical concerns, and the doctor can view the patient for a general idea of his or her health. How a person looks, speaks, and responds to the doctor can reveal certain types of symptoms that may require further evaluation. For example, someone who suddenly has trouble speaking and appears to have a droop on one side of his or her mouth may have had a stroke and could require an immediate ER visit. Regular follow-up appointments can be scheduled at the convenience of both the patient and the health professional. Any necessary follow-up can be arranged as needed.

Seniors can now safely monitor more health issues from home. This helps them to avoid the risk of going out in public where they may come in contact with people who have COVID-19 or other serious, contagious illnesses.

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How Seniors Can Monitor Their Health from Home