ElderHealth is a medical practice that specializes in geriatric primary care based in Tucson, Arizona; now offers statewide geriatric telemedicine consultations that go beyond the diagnosis with a second opinion and expert advice on prescribed medications, aging in place, cognitive care, and caregiver support within one appointment or as many as you like – covered by insurance.
For Immediate Release
TUCSON, AZ – Caregivers and care partners of a high-need older adult with dementia and require help with two or more self-care activities, spend an average of 85-253 hours per month on household activities, the equivalent to nearly two full-time jobs. The need for caregiver support is disproportionately misunderstood by older adults aging in place and under-calculated by families who want to care for a loved one at home.
Just last year, ElderHealth opened a geriatric medical practice that specializes in at-home primary care services for patients in Tucson, Arizona. A year later, they took note of how many caregivers and families needed more phone and telemedicine support, especially when caring for a patient with a neurocognitive disorder.
ElderHealth’s founder, Dr. Corinne Self paints a picture of what this looks like: “Traditional office visits are failing our older adult population. With many factors at play contributing to complex problems, such as falls, memory impairment and low blood pressure, it is important to go beyond a traditional doctor’s office. In order to have the time and attention that’s required to effectively listen to patients and their care partners, providers need to develop more effective strategies and implement changes to promote health and aging in place.”
Now more than ever, the healthcare system is stretched thin and geriatric medical services are limited. Not only that, the ability for patients to leave their home can be difficult due to physical mobility, accessibility issues, lack of transportation, or living in rural areas.
According to ElderHealth’s Practice Manager Brittany Wagner describes the complaints she hears from new patients. “I am often told by patients and family members that they have been failed by our healthcare system. Whether it’s not being provided accurate information, their provider’s availability to see them, or proper communication and follow up by their current healthcare provider(s). Telemedicine geriatric consultations provide patients with helpful information in the comfort of their home about things such as medication review, discussing PMH (past medical history), or recommendations to improve general health.” In the need for these conveniences, geriatric telemedicine appointments on Google Meet are a convenient way for many elderly patients and their caregivers to get a second-opinion or meet with a doctor on a more regular basis.
One of the needs of geriatric patients is to adjust and readjust prescriptions. Fran Boyd is a daughter-caregiver who attributes improvements to her mother’s overall care to geriatric telemedicine appointments with Elderhealth’s nurse practitioner Melissa Koon. “I have used the telemedicine with Melissa regarding my mom’s medications and by readjusting her medications or discontinuing some and restarting another one. There have been great noted improvements in her mood, behavior, at times even her memory. […] she is not angry and lashing out and I am happy that I don’t see her so unhappy, so it also helps me as her primary caregiver/daughter.”
Melissa Koon NP specializes in memory care and neurocognitive disorders and sheds light on the solutions at-hand. “Telemedicine provides an opportunity to engage with the dementia patients and their caregivers in their day-to-day setting, offering a glimpse of the ways that their environment affects their behaviors. This is frequently a huge step toward both understanding the causes of the problematic behaviors and finding therapeutic strategies to alleviate them.”
As part of the new geriatric telemedicine consultations, ElderHealth will offer state-of-the-art neuro-psych tests of cognitive function and brain health that can be performed on a patient’s personal computer. After a cognitive evaluation, the ElderHealth doctors will be able to assess the degree of neurocognitive decline, provide a referral, or schedule a follow-up telemedicine appointment with a licensed neurologist for an official diagnosis.
ElderHelath uses a web-based platform by Cambridge Brain Sciences to assess whether a patient has cognitive issues. Many older adults want to know if they have symptoms of early-onset dementia or Alzheimers. ElderHealth’s geriatric telemedicine consultation can be a pathway to neurocognitive health and accessible to anyone, anywhere in Arizona. Now, caregivers and older adults who need a second opinion on their geriatric and cognitive health can stop second-guessing and receive the best in geriatric care from the convenience of their own home.
Please direct press inquiries to Dr. Corinne Self, email@example.com