Gateway Gazette

How Telehealth and Senior Care Apps can be Advantageous for Mental Healthcare at LTC Homes in COVID-19

The uncertainty in the situation and spreading rumors about the pandemic effects swirling around has left people in complete despair. The negative vibes outspread by the statistics or numbers of COVID-19 infected patients are creating a sense of fear among the people living around the country, so much that people are scared to even get themselves tested due to the fear of quarantine and living alone away from their people.

Talking about the LTC homes, these are the places with the most vulnerable age group, the chances of these seniors getting affected with the COVID-19 infection are very high. Not just physically, the rumors and the terrifying news reports, are greatly affecting their mental health, thus leading them towards anxiety attacks and depression. 

Based on a report in Toronto, the frontline workers and residents at the LTC homes are facing a number of mental health issues with the sudden surge in coronavirus pandemic and are under a constant pressure of them being in an elevated risk and the fear of spreading the same to their family members. The residents staying here are already fighting with their physical health issues and this gushing fear is an add-on to their mental health.

Keeping in mind all the above facts and to help out senior hands to maintain their mental health amidst pandemic, here are some senior care apps that can help the residents in LTC homes and also to the old hands living alone to remain mentally happy

Applications that can help seniors at LTC homes to remain mentally healthy.

  • Telemedicine app like Maple – Instant access to psychiatrist

The stigmatic thought process and the perception of people towards mental health issues have made it hard for people to accept that the pandemic is affecting them more mentally than physically. 

With the tech-enabled option like Telemedicine app, the residents living in the LTC homes can schedule an e-visit with a physiatrist to vent their feelings and health-related concerns. 

Maple app gives the user the option to request an appointment with a physiatrist, where they first need to answer the questions asked by the app and fill in the details about their medical history for the physiatrist to understand them and give them the right consultation through the video call. 

This virtual healthcare facility through Telemedicine app like Maple, have made mental healthcare access easier and faster for the seniors as they don’t need to step out of their house to get themselves treated. 

Well, developing and using these apps are must in the today’s time as it plays a great role in reducing the cases of suicide and increased anxiety among seniors at LTC homes.

  • Behavioral health therapy app 

Aging leads to mood disorders and emotional imbalance in a human being. There are many changes that occur in the elderly body that make them weak which is reflected through their behavioral patterns. 

In order to deal with such instabilities in the behavior and to maintain the emotional peace of the residents in LTC homes, an application like Moodfit can help the seniors feel better through its interactive sessions.

With some outstanding features which help them track their mood based on the ratings they enter every day in the app, their sleeping and eating patterns, the way they respond to the different features of the application, the breathing exercise that keeps them stress-free, is what helps them remain calm and composed in their day to day activities 

The app has a special feature that sends a reminder to the user with a positive message to make them feel lighter and improve their mood. Indeed the app is an attention grabber for the one looking for monitoring the behavior.  

  • Meditation and positivity app 

Meditation and yoga are the best way to deal with the mental health-related issues, and when we are talking about the elderly people, meditation is the best way to keep their minds active and more concentrated. 

Headspace is one such application famous for its stress-relieving meditation exercises and its mindful approaches to make people live a healthy and happier life. The application offers facilities like mini-meditation and inspiring stories in the morning, a mind and body training exercise in the noon and a soothing meditative music at night to keep a person’s mind filled with positivity all day long till he gets into a slumber sleep. 

The app also has a bundle of motivating articles based on every mood a person can have with some solutions that can help them lead out of those anxieties. 

  • Boredom buster apps 

Finally moving to the last and the most important genre for healthy living, that are some boredom boosting apps that can help them remain active and engaged with the things they would like and help the old hands spend their time productively.

Humans being a social animal, need people and the outdoor things remain connected to them to keep their lives moving with some excitement. Below are some apps that can help the seniors in the LTC homes stay entertained and can act as their boredom busters. 

  • Virtual travel app

Elderly people being physically weaker than before would be unable to travel to the famous places that they used to go in their youth. In the time of COVID-19 when every one of us is asked to stay indoors, the virtual travel app like Wander can help them all visit those places sitting in their homes.

Yes, with the advanced technology like VR enabled in this application makes it possible to have a feel like traveling to those places in real life. The features like speech recognition and Wikipedia integration, navigating and learning about the different locations have become just too easy.

  • Reading app for seniors 

Most of the seniors like to spend their time reading books, newspapers and learning about something new that can add to their knowledge. An app like Libby can make it easy for them to get access to the knowledge and content they desire. This free available app for Android and iOS gives ad-free e-books and audiobooks to the user. 

Here the senior needs to issue his/her library card to get the book to read. He can also make the necessary changes in his view like increasing the font size, changing the background color or could increase or decrease the playback speed of the audiobook they are listening to. Great app for seniors to remain engaged. 

  • Gaming app for seniors

Well, who says the seniors don’t like to play the games, well this is the most liked app by the elderly to have fun and crush the time they are finding hard to spend. A gaming app like Dynseo can help the seniors to sharpen their memory along with making them happy with the activities.

It includes games that foster brainstorming, like memory games, logic games, rehabilitation games that can give them a chance to think and strain their mind along with having entertainment.

Thus it’s a great way to keep them occupied and away from all the negative thoughts that they might have otherwise.

Summing Up 

Mental health is a global issue that is now taken seriously as people are being more open talking about it. With the current time being more critical, our seniors at the LTC homes and the ones living alone are found to be most affected by mental health issues. 

The above-mentioned apps are the examples of the advancement in the mental healthcare industry where the patient can communicate with someone that can easily understand their state of mind through telemedicine apps, or the meditation and the entertainment apps that helps them remain positive and boost their morale to leave a healthy and peaceful life. 

Author bio :

Parth Patel is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of SyS Creations – top IT Management and Consulting firm. He has been serving in the Canadian healthcare industry for more than 7 years. Along with his team, Parth Patel has earned expertise to brilliantly develop a telehealth app in Ontario and even developed a virtual healthcare solution for long-term care homes.

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