The Doctor Is In!


If you are of a certain age, you, like me, can remember when the family doctor came to your house when you were ill – where you were usually sitting up in bed, in your pajamas, with a thermometer in your mouth while he asked you questions.

No getting dressed, going out in the cold or rainy weather, and sitting in a waiting room, with other sick patients coughing and sneezing, while you waited to be called.

Today masks are still required in the waiting and examining rooms but not much else has changed…or has it?

Thanks to the computer age there are now apps for in-home visits with a doctor online. And it is so easy, even I can do it. These virtual visits can be accomplished on your computer, tablet, or phone, from your living room, office, or far from home.

Over the years I have found that many seniors don’t go to the doctor as often as they should. Transportation is a big issue, along with long waits in the waiting room and possibly again while waiting for a ride home. “I don’t want to be a burden to my family”, is the mantra heard over and over by the medical and care providers.

Sometimes it just seems to be too much trouble to get dressed and go out in the weather. Other times it may not be feasible, especially if you are having digestive issues. Cold weather can make our arthritic joints act up making getting in and out of the car, walking and/or getting up and down from a sitting position painful. The list goes on and on.

In other cases, it isn’t a physical ailment that has us down. Depression and anxiety can also play a part in avoiding contact with the medical profession. The fear of being told they have a serious disease or that they can no longer live alone is another factor that keeps seniors home and quiet about what they are experiencing.

Today, in Thurston County, we have several options for virtual in-home visits with physicians. While some illnesses will require an in-office visit, other problems can be easily solved online, like prescriptions ordered or renewed, tests ordered, and referrals given to the appropriate physician, cutting in-office visits down to one instead of two.

Providence Medical:

In addition to virtual physician visits, Providence Hospital at Home delivers all the acute services needed to fulfill a patient’s care plan in their home instead of in the hospital. Patients are cared for by both a virtual MD and RN team and a team of in-home clinicians during their stay. Multiple safety protocols are put in place to ensure 24/7 clinical oversight and support for escalation of care back to the hospital if necessary.

Click here for more information.

Kaiser Permanente:

With and the Kaiser Permanente app, members have a simple, secure way to manage their health — all in one connected, convenient platform. They also use virtual care for preventive measures and chronic condition management, not just for simple one-time care needs. Prescriptions can be delivered to your home.

Click here for more information.

MultiCare Capitol Medical Center:

The Capitol Medical Center offers three options for virtual care: minor illness or injury, primary and specialty care, and pediatric urgent care.

Click here for more information.


AARP offers information on how to use telemedicine to both seniors and veterans.

Click here for the website.

Perhaps there is a positive note to the recent COVID pandemic after all.


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