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Think older adults aren’t comfortable with telehealth? Think again


92% of those over 70 say they are comfortable with telehealth

When it comes to telehealth, the stereotype is that it is something preferred and used by younger people. But a survey of adult behavior by Independa, a health care technology company, found that adults over 70 had a high comfort level with telehealth and preferred having it as an option.

Of those surveyed, 93% of adults over 70 said they would like to have a telehealth option, compared with 84% who said the same thing last year. Nearly 86% of older adults had a telehealth appointment in the last year, compared with 75% in 2021. Of those who had a telehealth appointment, 85% enjoyed the experience, compared to 74% the year prior.

Other key findings include:

  • 66% of older adults are more concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic now than they were in 2021.
  • 97% of children with older adult parents are concerned about the health of their parents living alone, and worry about their isolation.
  • Top 3 reasons older adult parents consider using telehealth is to have regular checkups with primary care, monitor chronic conditions, and monitor recovery from an illness.
  • Respondents also said that they are interested in tele-dentistry, remote mental health and counseling, music therapy and remote physical therapy.

"The pandemic isn't over, but regardless, the new norm is to deliver more flexible, more personalized, more cost effective and more convenient health and wellness options in the home in general, but particularly for older adults," said Kian Saneii, founder and CEO of Independa, in a statement.

Survey respondents were also asked about their technology habits. Two out of three people responded that they were only a little bit technically savvy, yet two-thirds found setting up telehealth appointments to be easy. When asked which screen devices older adults are most adept at using, the television was by far the highest ranked device. In fact, the survey found that 94% of older adults watch TV every day, with nearly 10% watching TV for over 9 hours per day.

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