Smartphone Applications Revolutionizing Treatment And Management of Mental Health among Seniors

Seniors struggle with various problems, such as low mood,  lack of motivation, anxiety, and memory problems. With long mental health appointment waiting lists, their question is whether there are alternatives to consider. Interestingly with technological advancements, there are several wearable technologies, telepsychiatry services, mental health phone apps, and social media that have made the provision of services more accessible. 

Because of the stereotype threat, most seniors may be adamant about employing the latest technology. However, they need assistance from family to ease tech discomfort. Nevertheless, over the past decade, tech adoption among the elderly has risen, which has helped improve their quality of life, mental health, and daily functioning. 

Telemedicine is becoming popular among seniors. 

Telemedicine is gaining traction. Nowadays, most seniors can see their providers virtually. One may wonder if this is effective. Studies have demonstrated that telemedicine has been as effective as in-person treatment. Mobile applications shouldn’t be concerned about removing the human component in care delivery because theirs is a complementary role in mental illness treatment. 

Always ensure the online platform considered is HIPAA compliant to ensure there is no violation of your data. For instance, BlueJeans and Zoom comply with HIPAA guidelines, while Skype and FaceTime don’t. In addition, it is vital to read the privacy policies of mental health mobile applications, and if they sell or share data with third parties, that is a red flag. 

Examples of mental health applications seniors should try

Seniors should consider Teletherapy apps Doctor on Demand, K health, and Teledoc. Wellness apps to supplement mental illness treatment include CBT-I Coach, COVID Coach, and Mindfulness Coach. These apps can help the individual with information on how to track symptoms, manage sleep and teach skills. 

Besides technology helping simplify treatments, research shows that smartphones can enhance memory in older people. In addition, by using personal assistant apps on their phones, elderly individuals that received alerts on activities and events experienced an improvement in daily living and cognitive functioning. 

Therefore, seniors should be encouraged to use smartphone apps offering telemedicine services. When choosing these apps, ensure they are HIPAA compliant and that the older adult is ready to use them.

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