As people grow older, their overall health may deteriorate, leading to a decrease in both physical and mental wellness. To counteract this decline, some individuals proactively engage in routine medical appointments and make lifestyle adjustments. However, for certain individuals, extra assistance might be required during these stages of life. In the past, seeking mental health services was often stigmatized and difficult, but with the rise of virtual therapy, more seniors are finding the help they need to improve their mental health.
Virtual Therapy: What It Is and How It Works
Teletherapy as it is commonly known or online therapy has been gaining popularity among people seeking for mental health support.1 It allows people to have consultations with licensed therapists, coaches or counseling centers from all over the world.
One of the beauties of virtual therapy is its ease of access. All you need is a reliable internet connection and you can link up with a qualified therapist from anywhere on the globe. Clients are free to express their emotions, personal challenges and relationship problems during sessions. Therapists assist clients to identify and understand their negative thought patterns, come up with strategies for coping and implement therapeutic interventions that help them change positively.
There’s also a new form of virtual psychotherapy which involves apps or coaching to treat mental health. These apps and coaching programs do not offer a substitute for traditional therapy, but they still provide useful support. For instance, you can use a virtual bot to track your symptoms over time and daily mental health tips for your general wellbeing.
The Impact of Virtual Therapy on Mental Health Care
Virtual therapy has been a game changer for mental healthcare. While in-person sessions have their advantages, virtual therapy offers a much-needed alternative for individuals facing obstacles to traditional treatment. With the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the need for remote options, virtual therapy has emerged as a highly effective and accessible form of mental healthcare. In fact, since the outbreak began, there’s been a significant shift towards virtual
1 Writers, Staff. 2022. “Virtual Therapy vs. In-Person Therapy | Psychology.Org.” Psychology.Org | Psychology’s Comprehensive Online Resource (blog). August 16, 2022. https://www.psychology.org/resources/virtual-therapy-vs-in-person.
therapy, and it’s essential that we continue to investigate and refine this approach to ensure optimal patient outcomes. By leveraging technology, we can reach more people, improve accessibility, and enhance overall mental wellbeing – a vital step forward in our quest to provide quality care.2
Recent studies have demonstrated that virtual therapy is just as effective as conventional in- person therapy in addressing and managing various mental conditions.3 These findings are supported by additional research showing that virtual therapy proves effective across diverse patient populations.4 Notably, virtual therapy has been found to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, hospitalizations, and enhance medication adherence. Moreover, patients participating in virtual therapy consistently express high levels of satisfaction with this form of treatment, further underscoring its efficacy.5
Virtual therapy offers several advantages over conventional therapy. Its accessibility expands the reach of mental healthcare, providing an opportunity for individuals facing transportation or distance limitations. By eliminating the need for physical visits, virtual therapy reduces waiting times significantly, as patients are no longer reliant on predetermined appointment schedules or lengthy commutes to clinical settings. The patients can have a chance to undergo therapy sessions from the comfort of their homes, which is a more convenient and affordable option for the many people.
It is also important to note that virtual therapy can offer anonymity not available through traditional in-person therapy. Such anonymity would be especially beneficial for those individuals, who may feel embarrassed or stigmatized about visiting mental health clinics. Also, it is convenient to those who do not seek care fearing social stigma or judgment.2
2 Knierim, Kyle, Christina G.S. Palmer, Erik Seth Kramer, Rachel S. Rodriguez, Jill VanWyk, Alison Shmerling, Peter C. Smith, et al. 2021. “Lessons Learned during COVID-19 That Can Move Telehealth in Primary Care Forward.” Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 34 (Supplement): S196–202. https://doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2021.s1.200419.
3 Choc. 2023. “Understanding the Role of Cultural Stigma on Seeking Mental Health Services.” CHOC – Children’s Health Hub. February 1, 2023. https://health.choc.org/understanding- the-role-of-cultural-stigma-on-seeking-mental-health-services/.
4 Hilty, Donald M., Daphne C. Ferrer, Michelle Burke Parish, Barb Johnston, Edward J. Callahan, and Peter Mackinlay Yellowlees. 2013. “The Effectiveness of Telemental Health: A 2013 Review.” Telemedicine Journal and E-Health 19 (6): 444–54.
5 Knierim, Kyle, Christina G.S. Palmer, Erik Seth Kramer, Rachel S. Rodriguez, Jill VanWyk, Alison Shmerling, Peter C. Smith, et al. 2021. “Lessons Learned during COVID-19 That Can Move Telehealth in Primary Care Forward.” Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 34 (Supplement): S196–202.
The Importance of Seeking Help
It’s a misunderstanding that mental health concerns are an inherent aspect of growing older. The truth is, these issues aren’t a natural part of aging; they can affect anyone at any age. With proper treatment and support, mental health challenges can be managed and improved upon. Ignoring or delaying treatment can have serious consequences on one’s well-being, so seeking professional help when needed is crucial. Here are some reasons why it’s important to seek help:
Improved Quality of Life
Seniors who receive appropriate care for mental health issues tend to experience enhanced well- being and a better overall quality of life. They are more likely to engage in activities they find pleasure in, sustain meaningful connections with family and friends, and generally feel more content and satisfied with their lives. Effective management of mental health challenges enables seniors to live a more fulfilling and happier life.3
Reduced Risk of Deterioration
Mental and physical health are interconnected. Seniors who receive mental health treatment have been shown to have improved physical health outcomes as well. Seeking help and receiving proper treatment can significantly reduce the risk of further deterioration and improve overall health and well-being.
Breaking the Stigma
There is often a stigma surrounding mental health, which can prevent seniors from seeking help. However, seeking help for mental health issues is a brave step towards improving overall well- being. By reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, seniors can find the courage to speak out and seek help. Which in turn will encourage others to do the same, creating a healthier and more accepting society for all.
Dealing with mental health problems can be challenging, but seeking help can help us feel more confident and empowered. By taking control of our mental health, we can feel more capable and in control of their lives. This can lead to increased self-esteem and a stronger sense of self-worth.
Better Cognitive Function
Mental health issues can impair cognitive function, making it difficult to focus, remember, and concentrate. Seniors who seek help for mental health issues increase their chances of maintaining cognitive function as they age. For instance, anxiety and depression can cause declines in cognitive function, but prompt treatment can help minimize brain damage caused by persistent psychological stress. Seeking early treatment for mental health issues can improve cognitive function and overall brain health.
Improved Social Life
Mental health issues can negatively impact one’s social life. Seniors with untreated mental health issues may withdraw from social activities, become isolated, and have difficulty interacting with others. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and further exacerbate their mental health problems. Seeking help for mental health issues can improve social skills, reduce isolation, and enhance quality of life.
Insurance Coverage for Virtual Therapy
Mental health is just as important as physical fitness for seniors. However, until recently, insurance companies did not cover virtual therapy. In fact, selecting the suitable therapist is a daunting undertaking, and this becomes a huge challenge to senior populations at Total Life. Mental health care is a must, and everybody should enjoy it irrespective of age or health insurance. This is why we take the pride of having an online counseling that targets seniors and is covered under Medicare, hence affordable.
The federal Medicare program is primarily focused on individuals aged 65 and above and also those with disabilities. Outpatient mental health services, such as therapy and counseling, are covered under original Medicare coverage. It has become possible for Medicare patients to undergo online therapy sessions from the convenience of their residences due to recent legislative reforms.
If you have supplemental insurance, virtual therapy sessions at Total Life might be available without any out-of-pocket costs. With just a few simple steps, you can connect with a licensed therapist who will offer expert advice and assistance to enhance your mental health. These trained professionals are capable of addressing a wide range of mental health issues, from stress, anxiety, depression, loss, and traumatic events.
We believe that therapy should be available to everyone, regardless of age or financial status. That’s why we are dedicated to expanding access to mental health services through our virtual therapy platform. With insurance coverage now available for online therapy sessions, seniors can easily receive the support they need without having to leave their homes.
At Total Life, we are committed to making the process of finding the right therapist as simple and stress-free as possible. We understand the importance of mental healthcare, particularly during these trying times. That’s why we aim to provide a supportive and reassuring environment for seniors seeking care.
As the demand for mental health services grows, virtual therapy is emerging as a convenient and accessible alternative. Insurance coverage has expanded to cover virtual sessions, making it more feasible for senior citizens to seek professional help without leaving their homes or worrying about financial burdens.
At Total Life, we specialize in providing customized therapy services designed explicitly for seniors, ensuring they receive the appropriate support to lead fulfilling, contented lives. Our team of qualified therapists is dedicated to enhancing mental health access for all seniors, believing that mental wellness is just as essential as physical wellness. For those seeking mental health assistance, virtual therapy at Total Life offers a convenient solution.
Reach out to us today, and our experienced staff will guide you toward total wellness. Let’s work together to overcome any obstacles preventing mental healthcare access and create a brighter tomorrow for ourselves and our communities. By embracing virtual therapy, we can shatter limitations and ensure that everyone has equal opportunities to flourish. Choose Total Life as your partner in mental wellness, and let’s stride toward better times, hand in hand!