Elderly Population

Several barriers prevent the elderly population from utilizing the benefits of Telehealth. These include physical and sensory barriers that come with age, access to devices due to the expense, and knowledge and acceptance of technology. Previous research has shown difficulty with the facilitation and proper use of Telehealth devices in senior populations. Elderly patients with little prior computer experience and low literacy skills exhibit difficulties with self-efficacy and perceptual-motor skills when using a new device (Kaufman et. al, 2006). A study by Kaufman et. al (2006) found that elderly diabetic patients were at greater risk of hospitalization due to an inadequate understanding of their condition, or glucose levels, for example. Researchers found that individuals in the study were unable to interpret their symptoms and adjust their lifestyle accordingly (Kaufman et. al, 2006). A common goal within the elderly population is to maintain independence. With the implementation of Telehealth services, these individuals may increase their autonomy and have increased access to healthcare services while remaining at home.