PART IV. TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION, SELECTION, AND DEPLOYMENT
The Telewellness Program is fundamentally about virtual care, or the distribution of mental health content through technology. Older adult access to digital tools is an important component to developing a mental health program at a community, whether it involves use of a personal device to connect with a mental health professional, or the ability to participate in a mental health webinar through a large screen monitor. A wide array of opportunity opens up for older adults when addressing mental health and social connection needs through technology: educational videos on common topics such as anxiety and depression, video chat applications with friends and loved ones, mental wellness and meditation apps, zoom calls with health providers, and social chat platforms.
Keep in mind that technology is just a tool, a means to an end—and needs to reflect a balance between what needs you are trying to meet and what resources you have available. If your aim is to connect older adults to a friend, family member, or a virtual doctor, perhaps an iPad or some other tablet on a loaner basis would be appropriate. If you want to conduct a live Zoom workshop by a community health worker for a roomful of older adults, a large screen monitor or projector attached to a laptop may be a fitting approach.