Why in-Person Doctors Visits Are Still Important for Seniors During COVID-19

Posted on: 24 September 2020

COVID-19 has impacted the medical world in a myriad of ways, many of which are unexpected. For example, doctors are finding that more of their senior patients are avoiding in-person visits or entirely avoiding checkups. This step is a huge mistake, because it may set them up for real health troubles that in-person visits could spot or treat more effectively.

In-Person Doctor Visits are Still Important in COVID-19

Though there is much that video or online visits can catch in a senior patient during the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person doctor visits are still critical. At these visits, a doctor can talk to their patient, see their body in the flesh, do x-rays, and perform other diagnostic steps that are impossible in virtual environments, ensuring that they catch more persistent issues more quickly than they could otherwise.

As a result, it is important for those in this situation to consider the benefits of regularly visiting a doctor, even if they are worried about the spread of COVID-19. By meeting up with a doctor and getting this type of in-person care, they can ensure that they spot the dangers of other conditions, and stay on top of complications that may otherwise impact their health. However, trips must be done very carefully.

How to Plan These Doctor Visits

AARP outlines several steps that they believe members must follow when visiting a doctor. These include scheduling well in advance, trying to find a time when not many people will be there, taking the time to wear masks, gloves, and washing the hands, and changing clothes after the visit, and cleaning those clothes to destroy any viruses that may exist on the clothes.

Beyond these steps, seniors may also want to plan online follow-ups that they can do when they get home. These video chats allow them to interact with their doctor, and learn more about what may be affecting them. Often, these video conversations can be set up in advance, but may also take place a few days later after the initial visit.

Thankfully, it is not too hard to find doctors who are taking new patients during this crisis. And even if a senior already has a doctor whom they can trust to manage their health, it may be a good idea to reach out to them and see if they can take them in for a visit. You may, however, want to try to limit these visits to situations that are more critical, such as potential emergency situations, or for follow-ups and yearly checkups.

To learn more about visiting a doctor's office during this time, reach out to a local practice.