Nearly 1 in 3 adults age 50-plus (32 percent) are either extremely or very interested in telehealth services, for themselves or a loved one, according to a new AARP report. That number is essentially unchanged from April 2020, just after the pandemic struck, suggesting telehealth’s appeal for older adults hasn’t changed despite the relaxation of many COVID-related restrictions.
The survey, which polled more than 1,100 older adults and was conducted for AARP in late February and early March by NORC at the University of Chicago, found greater interest in telehealth services among nonwhite populations (45 percent of Black, non-Hispanic respondents were extremely or very interested, compared with 35 percent of Hispanic respondents and just 29 percent of white, non-Hispanic older adults). More than half of respondents say they or a family member has used telehealth services in the past two years.
Men were more likely than women to say they have not personally used telehealth services since the onset of the pandemic (48 percent vs. 39 percent). And 1 in 3 respondents (32 percent) said they worry that they’re not getting the same quality of care as they would with an in-person visit.
“Telehealth is likely to continue to remain an important tool in the health care delivery tool kit — at least for those with computers and high-speed internet access,” the report’s authors wrote. When asked about barriers to using telehealth, 4 percent of respondents said they didn’t have a computer, and 3 percent said they didn’t have access to high-speed internet.
Read more about the report’s findings, and visit AARP’s Telehealth Center for more information about what resources may be available to you.
Start each day with The Daily newsletter for the latest in health, money and jobs — and updates on how we're fighting for you.