LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Heading out the door now means grabbing a mask and staying six feet away from others. Experts say the masks help, but they're no guarantee. Especially with seniors. 13 Action News anchor Tricia Kean shows us how one local nonprofit is using technology to protect our most vulnerable.
NEW AND USED DEVICES
You don't have to leave the house to see family or friends or even your doctor. These days you can see anyone you need with your favorite device. The problem is, not everyone has the right equipment. That's where TeleHealth Access for Seniors comes in.
"We take new and used devices... We're thinking used iPhones, used Android phones, tablets that are being used," says Christian Ong with TeleHealth Access for Seniors.
This new Nevada nonprofit is raising funds and collecting electronic devices for seniors who can't afford their own. But the help doesn't end there.
"We provide live teaching services or educational services for our devices. We have volunteers who are available just to walk seniors through their devices," says Christian.
POSSIBLY SAVE THOUSANDS
The organization's goals are to help seniors: Connect with loved ones and improve their mental well-being. Talk to physicians via telehealth and use wellness apps to benefit their physical health. And ultimately avoid possible complications and unnecessary hospitalizations, possibly saving them hundreds or thousands of dollars.
To get the word out, TeleHealth Access is partnering with the VA of Southern Nevada.
SKIP THE WAIT TIME
"It's paramount that we offer services via telehealth right now because patients are still in need of that care," says Dr. Lowryanne Vick, the Telehealth Services Chief for the VA of Southern Nevada.
The VA says a lot of their patients visit from Puhrump, Laughlin and as far away as Southern California, Utah and Arizona. Along with skipping the long drive, remote health care services help you skip the wait time.
GIVE IT A TRY
"They tend to run very much on schedule and also the visits tend to not take as long. For whatever reason we're able to focus more through that telehealth vist and get what the patient needs done in a timely manner," says Dr. Vick.
Some seniors are skeptical at first, but TeleHealth Access says it's important to give it a try.
"It's still with very qualified health care professionals you would be seeing in person... Putting them on camera doesn't make them any less effective at doing their job," says Christian.