Telehealth allows patients across the lifespan to receive care remotely in a manner that is often more accessible and convenient than in-person care. A common misconception is that older adults have either no interest in the use of technology or cannot use technology platforms. Current data indicate otherwise; in fact, most older adults (7 in 10) have and utilize a computer, smart phone, or tablet with internet access at home. However, when it comes to the use of telehealth, there is limited reach among older adults (e.g., only 11% feel comfortable using telehealth).
Beyond reimbursement limitations with health insurance, barriers to telehealth among older adults include provider misperceptions of interest, lack of telehealth training/orientation in older adults, and telehealth platforms that do not account for the needs of older adults.
Here are some factors to consider and strategies to implement when providing telehealth to older adults.