Thanks to a public-private partnership with the Del E. Webb Foundation, Thunderbirds Charities, and an Arizona Stay Connected Program grant, residents at the Glencroft Center for Modern Aging are connecting with their doctors while remaining safely in their homes on Glencroft’s 40-acre campus.
Providence Place, Glencroft’s skilled nursing facility, received $10,000 in CARES Act federal funding from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting. This, along with a $13,000 grant from the Del E. Webb Foundation, and a $6,000 award from Thunderbirds Charities funded tablets, touch screen computers and healthcare monitoring equipment.
The new equipment enables Glencroft residents to connect with doctors through telehealth/telemedicine “visits.” The devices also allow monitoring of residents’ vital signs and health conditions by their personal physicians without requiring residents to leave their home at Glencroft. Remote patient monitoring is most effective for persons with chronic diseases common among the elderly such as diabetes, hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The devices also allow residents that don’t own a computer or tablet to stay in touch with their families while social distancing. Staying connected with loved ones through virtual visits promotes emotional wellbeing in older adults and provides families with peace of mind. Devices are fully sealed and sanitized before and after each use, and residents are provided with technical support by Glencroft staff.
For 25 years, telehealth has emerged as a cost-effective alternative to face-to-face consultations and exams by healthcare providers. Telehealth is increasingly used as a tool to reduce healthcare access barriers for aging adults, reduce health risks of travel, and to improve quality of care. Virtual visits with family members and doctors are among the many innovative methods used at Glencroft to help ensure resident safety throughout the current public health crisis.