Online-Based Healthcare Program for the Elderly: A Pilot Program
During the pandemic, health programs for the elderly in the community have been limited to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. However, health services still need to be provided for the elderly to maintain their health. This paper aimed to explain the health problems of the elderly and the participation of elders, the family, and community health workers in the revitalization of strategies for integrated health service activities for the elderly during the pandemic. The Community as Partner model was used in this study. A one-group pre-test/post-test pilot study was conducted. The activities included health assessments via telemedicine (video call), drive-through services for vital signs assessment and simple lab checks, home visits, and education via WhatsApp as needed. We also provided training to community health workers and nursing students. The pilot project ran from June 2020 to May 2021 with 184 community-dwelling elderly in Central Java. The evaluation included participant questionnaires and measurements before and after the program. Change in outcomes was assessed using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. The study found health problems of the elderly included depression, hypertension, and joint stiffness. 100 elderly people participated in the online exercise activities accompanied by their families and felt a decrease in complaints of joint stiffness, and 84 others participated in health education and exercise activities in open areas, adhering to strict health protocols. Most of the participants said they were satisfied with the activities. The online health education and exercise activities were successfully adapted to be effective interventions.
Keywords: elderly, empowerment, health services
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