For Healthy Aging, Communication Counts
Healthy aging can begin with reaching out, maintaining a strong social network, and clear communication between residents or patients and their care team. Residents and patients who communicate frequently, in detail, with their social network and healthcare team support their cognitive and emotional health. When they communicate frequently with physicians about health and ask healthcare questions, they can reduce numerous health risks. Studies show that people who frequently discuss their health with doctors live a longer and healthier life. What’s more, when patients are given tools that help them stay proactive about their health, they do better! Social connection and communication can have the same effect on overall wellbeing.
Clear Communication Matters
Deeper communication reaches further than spoken words. For example, when a doctor reviews a patient’s health, that’s the patient’s cue to participate too. Physicians can observe patients for body language, general demeanor and any inconsistencies between answers to questions and expressions or movement. They can encourage patients/residents to be honest and understand the clinician’s goal: to help them with the best possible treatment for a great recovery and a healthy aging process.
- Condition: Participation can include discussing treatments, the impact of the condition, and how that outcomes may impact family or loved ones.
- History: Accurate communication about current medications and previous illnesses. It may help to have another family member there who can assist in a medical history.
- Clarification: Help patients understand that it’s okay to double check or ask a question more than once.
When a patient takes the time to communicate with their doctor and participate in treatment and condition education, they can have a better opportunity for a vigorous, healthy aging process. Alignment of team communication on care plans and goals supports participation.
Other avenues that care teams are pursuing now include integrating technology with traditional modes of communication (videoconferencing, digital educational videos, interactive whiteboards and tablets) to facilitate and automate communication in formats that are familiar to people of all ages.
The Importance of Socialization for Healthy Aging
Social connection and reaching out can have a profound impact on emotional and physical wellbeing. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, loneliness and feelings of isolation can compound physical ailments and lead to a domino effect of illness. One way to offer social outreach is to provide videoconferencing in an easy to use and secure app. The Interactive Concierge Tablet offers a range of apps to help seniors and residential care patients stay involved, including videoconferencing and push messaging.
Better Outcomes with Integration
As a care organization, part of your mission is to share with your team the importance of communicating with patients these and other important health values. By doing so, providers directly contribute to higher levels of patient satisfaction and can boost patient engagement for higher satisfaction scores and better outcomes. Digital tablets can be integrated with community messaging and email systems, and staff can push reminders, notifications, group activity feeds and work order status so residents or residential care patients feel connected and included in their community environment.
Has your organization considered the adoption of integrated technology to expand and improve communication with patients? Talk to us about how we can help you do this today. At the intersection of technology and healthcare, we have the unique privilege of being able to offer you solutions that will meet your needs with integrated apps and tools to support an active, healthy lifestyle for seniors.