As overall health and mobility continue to decline, fewer seniors with health concerns are opting to drive themselves or get a friend, caregiver or family member to help. They either sit, wait and worry or call 911.
Fortunately, new alternatives from telemedicine to mobile urgent care house calls are providing better ways to triage and treat in the comfort of one’s home.
Immobility reduces proactivity
Immobility contributes to a vicious cycle leading to depression and unwillingness to be proactive about health issues.
Notes Dr. Suzanne Salamon, an instructor at Harvard Medical School in a Harvard Health Publishing blog, “Loss of mobility, which is common among older adults, has profound social, psychological, and physical consequences. If you’re unable to get out then you can’t go shopping, you can’t go out with your friends to eat dinner or go to the movies, and you become dependent on other people to get you places. So you become a recluse, you stay home, you get depressed. With immobilization comes incontinence, because you can’t get to the bathroom, you can develop urinary infections, skin infections. The list goes on.”
Some seniors default to 9ll
Other mobility-challenged seniors call 911 as a default for non-life-threatening issues. This is straining first responder resources and budgets. A recent Minneapolis Star Tribune report underscores this challenge: “More than 7,100 times last year, fire departments across the state were dispatched to assist frail but uninjured people, a nearly threefold increase from a decade prior.”
A January 2019 article in the West Bend [Wisconsin] Daily News adds: “Most area fire departments are reporting an increase in emergency calls over the last several years with most citing the increase in the local senior citizen population as a prime cause.”
House calls for urgent health issues provide seniors a convenient and affordable alternative
DispatchHealth provides a reliable, robust solution for seniors dealing with immobility issues or who have been conditioned to call 911 for just about anything. It’s easy to connect via phone, online or through an Android or iPhone app. After contact is made, a clinical evaluation is conducted to make sure that a house call is the best course of action.
DispatchHealth’s board-certified medical team shows up at a patient’s door within one to two hours, ready to treat everything from the flu, norovirus and nosebleeds to joint pain, fall injuries and pneumonia.
Best of all, DispatchHealth accepts most insurance including Medicare and Medicaid. Seniors with Medicare or commercial insurance generally pay $6-$45, minimizing cost concerns that often are a barrier to getting treatment.
Find out more about how DispatchHealth can deliver comfortable and competent care to older adults – a new benchmark in 21st century healthcare.