By Roz Jones
Telehealth has grown almost sevenfold since COVID-19 began to spread. While virtual doctor visits and remote monitoring devices could make medical care more convenient and accessible for any patient, your clients or Loved Ones may have the most to gain.
In March 2020, Medicare temporarily expanded coverage of telehealth services for most beneficiaries for office visits, preventive health screenings, and mental health services. At least some of these provisions may become permanent thanks to proposed legislation.
Find out how telehealth can help you, as a Caregiver, assist your clients or Loved Ones to maintain their independence and take care of their mental and physical health. Study this quick guide for those who want to see a doctor without leaving home.
Benefits of Telehealth for Your Clients/Loved Ones:
- Enjoy more convenience. How far do you have to drive to the doctor’s office for your client/Loved One? With a virtual visit, you can forget about traffic and parking. Plus, if the doctor is busy, you can entertain yourself and your clientor Loved One at home instead of being stuck in the waiting room.
- Treat chronic conditions. Almost 80% of seniors have at least one chronic condition, according to the National Council on Aging. Telehealth is ideal for the ongoing care needed to manage the typical symptoms of diabetes, cancer, and other chronic issues.
- Access specialists. Depending on where your client or Loved One lives, they may be in for a long wait when a specialist is needed. Online care is more efficient, so it may speed up the process.
- Support caregivers. Telehealth is great for caregivers and can also assist you with daily needs. Monitoring devices can free up your time by performing some routine tasks, and counseling services can help reduce stress.
- Be proactive. Virtual care also empowers your clients or Loved Ones to play a greater role in staying healthy. For example, your client or Loved One has the ability to take their own blood pressure daily and upload the results.
Telehealth can help your client or Loved One to continue social distancing while receiving the medical care they need. Ask your client or Loved One’s doctor about which options are appropriate for them.
By Roz Jones
If you’re a Caregiver, it’s important to stay aware of any actions that occur on your financial accounts. Technology can be a useful part of your plan to keep your money safe!
Use these strategies to take advantage of technology to protect your accounts:
- Change your personal account passwords. If someone knows your passwords, it’s essential that you change them immediately.
- Monitor accounts with online tools. Does your bank or other financial service offer apps and online tools to help you monitor accounts? These tools can send you automatic alerts about deposits, withdrawals, and other actions.
- If someone makes a transaction that goes against your contract/client agreement, these tools will give you a record and help you keep track of it. You can use this information to inform your employer, lawyer, and judge.
- These tools can also help you manage your own personal finances as well. Use them to keep a close watch on direct deposits, automatic withdrawals, and your balance.
- Monitor social media activity. In most cases, lawyers and judges are now using social media activity to make decisions about financial matters.
- Be careful about what you post on social media, particularly posts that have anything to do with money, your job, your clients, or any other personal information. Once you post something, it can always be copied and saved, so deleting it may not be enough to protect you.
- Figure out how to handle joint accounts. Joint accounts are sometimes necessary for regular caregiving expenses including housekeeping and home care. It’s important for you and your client/Loved One to agree on how you’ll handle the joint account, and how to use it during the duration of the contract/client agreement. For example, if your client needs immediate payment for medical care, you can use the joint account so you have immediate access to funds.
- For this joint account, you both may need online access to them.
- Use the technology that your bank offers to monitor these joint accounts closely.
- Be aware of tracking software and tools available. For caregivers who are using joint accounts, it may be necessary to resort to using tracking software and tools. These tools can enable you and/or your client/Loved One to see and monitor financial activities. This includes financial activities that occur online or on your phone.
- These technology tools can show up on your devices.
- If you’re considering this option for your client or Loved One, it’s smart to consult your employer, or lawyer and check the local laws first.
- Be sure to keep track of all the software and programs you find on your devices.
Being a Caregiver or being cared for can be a difficult time for both parties. It’s important to be proactive about protecting finances as you continue to provide care to your client or Loved One. Follow these tips and you’ll feel more secure about your finances!