Seniors care and digital health
Join the Canadian Medical Association (@CMA_Docs) as it hosts its very first tweetchat at #hcsmca on the topic of seniors care, digital health and social media on April 8, 2015 at 1pm ET (time zone converter).
By Pat Rich (@cmaer) and Dominique Jolicoeur, Canadian Medical Association
Seniors care, digital health and social media: On the surface the fit would seem to be natural and of huge potential benefit for patients and the Canadian health care system.
Many older Canadians have multiple chronic diseases and low mobility both of which could benefit enormously from telehealth, mobile technology and other supports that allow remote access to care and services.
In addition, many seniors have lost a partner and/or live alone and are prone to the negative impacts on mental and physical health that come from social isolation. If social media and online communities have one proven strength it is the ability to bridge this isolation and allow people to find communities of support.
But are our parents and other older citizens willing and able to embrace these new technologies to help maintain and improve their health?
We all have stories of relatives who have learned how to use the Internet, Facebook or Twitter at an advanced age (my 92-year-old mother is an example) to seek out and gather information or communicate. But are these individuals the norm or just outliers? Studies indicate it is younger people who are more willing to adopt and use more technologies. This may be even more true with respect to a generation that has different views on privacy and sharing sensitive health information.
Given the potential crisis facing the care of seniors in Canada is surely very important to seek out innovative approaches to helping provide them with better care.
As Canadian Medical Association (CMA) President Dr. Chris Simpson (@Dr_ChrisSimpson) says:
“Canada’s seniors are not getting the health care they deserve — not even close. Our system was created over half a century ago to meet the needs of a much younger population and we have not adapted to meet the growing number of aging Canadians.”
The CMA has made development of a national seniors plan (#SeniorsPlan) a priority for its advocacy activities and has just launched a website in conjunction with other associations to support this work (DemandAPlan.ca)
Join the CMA as it hosts its very first tweetchat at #hcsmca on the topic of seniors care, digital health and social media. Using the CMA Twitter account @CMA_Docs, Dominique Jolicoeur will moderate the #hcsmca chat assisted by @cmaer.
Topics for #hcsmca April 8, 2015 at 1pm ET (time zone converter).
- T1 Can seniors benefit from digital health and social media?
- T2 Do you have examples of innovative digital or social media projects aimed specifically at older patients?
- T3 What are the barriers to involving seniors more on social media to help them improve their health and how can these barriers be overcome.
If you are unable to participate in the chat and/or wish to share your comments in advance please do so.