Long-term care facilities have always been a crucial aspect of healthcare, catering to patients who require round-the-clock medical supervision and care. However, the pandemic brought forth unprecedented challenges for the medical industry- leaving many professionals feeling overwhelmed. Isolation, fear, and anxiety among residents surged, making it difficult for healthcare professionals to ensure their patients’ emotional well-being.  

While exacerbated by COVID-19, this issue is not new. A 2011 study showed that more than 50% of nursing home residents without cognitive impairment reported feelings of loneliness. With telehealth, the future of long-term care facilities looks brighter. In this article, we will explore how telehealth can bring a positive change to the mental health, physical health, and morale of patients in long-term care facilities.  

empty wheelchair in nursing home
empty wheelchair in nursing home

The Hurdles of Healthcare in Long-term Care Facilities  

According to Ed Mercadante, Chief Executive Officer of MediTelecare1, nursing home residents face substantial obstacles when it comes to accessing high-quality healthcare. Some of these include: 

Shortage of Healthcare Providers 

The shortage of qualified healthcare providers has been well documented and experienced for many years. The disparity in medical care and access to sufficient resources has placed a major challenge for all levels of care, particularly long-term care facilities. 

Transportation Difficulties 

A patient can usually be transported to medical appointments by a family member or aid, but this can cause unwanted stress and physical pain. In some cases, the provider comes directly to the nursing home, but with the previously mentioned lack of providers, this rarely happens. 

Limited Contact 

The parameters that are currently in place to enter or access most nursing facilities are very strict, requiring individuals to meet specific criteria and adhere to certain guidelines. Although these measures are implemented to prioritize the safety and well-being of residents, staff, and visitors, they pose challenges in delivering in-person patient care. 

“Even before the pandemic, social isolation and loneliness were considered

serious health risks for older Americans.” 2 

sad elderly man sitting alone on sofa during self isolation
elderly man sitting alone on sofa during self-isolation

Despite the disheartening challenges, there is a viable solution: telehealth. With its convenience and accessibility, telehealth offers a promising way to address these obstacles.  

How Telehealth Jumps the Hurdles  

Expanding Access to Quality Care 

Long-term care facilities are designed to provide the necessary support and care to their residents. However, the challenge arises when residents need access to healthcare professionals outside of the facility. This is where telehealth can benefit all stakeholders. Telehealth is a tool that provides remote healthcare services through devices such as AURA’s BlueCart™. 

Telehealth can help bridge the gap between long-term care facilities and healthcare professionals and specialists, allowing residents to access care from remote medical professionals in real-time. This not only increases speed and access to care but also improves overall quality of life for residents. Telehealth is proving to be an effective solution for ensuring that residents receive timely and efficient medical attention from whoever they need- whenever they need it.  

Connecting Hearts: The Power of Communication with Loved Ones 

One of the most significant struggles of long-term care facilities has been the limited in-person contact with family and friends. With social distancing protocols in place, visits have been cancelled or delayed in many cases. This change in access has led to a sense of isolation and loneliness among the residents. However, telehealth enables patients to have virtual visits with their loved ones, providing them with fresh contact, joy and a sense of connection with the outside world.  

In other circumstances, many elderly loved ones are placed into long-term care facilities far away from their family, which can create feelings of sadness and loneliness. For families, it can be difficult to cope with the reality of having a loved one placed so far away. Telehealth carts not only work with patient-provider connection, but also allow long-term care patients to have face-to-face time with their loved ones. 3   

Conquering Burnout and Stress 

Burnout and stress can be common among healthcare professionals working in long-term care facilities. With the pandemic, the pressure has only increased. A 2017 Mayo Clinic study stated that “registered nurses who worked in nursing homes may also be at higher risk for burnout than nurses who work in other settings.” 4 However, telehealth services can assist in reducing the burden on healthcare professionals.  

By using telehealth services, their patients’ mental and physical health can be monitored from afar. This reduces the need for routine visits and allows healthcare professionals to focus on critical situations.  

Telehealth devices can also alleviate stress for long-term care patients. Many individuals in long-term care often face stress and discomfort from frequent transportation to medical appointments. Traveling to a different facility for care is especially stressful for long-term care residents who have dementia and other memory disorders. Residents often require a few days to adapt after traveling. Kathy Hsu Wibberly, PhD, Director of the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center remarks that,  

“Telehealth allows them (the residents) to stay in an environment where they feel comfortable, where they feel safe, and where they have familiarity.” 5 

Improved Quality of Life 

Telehealth has the ability to positively impact the morale of patients, as it allows them to receive care from the comfort of their own residences. It enables them to feel more independent, connected, and in control of their healthcare, increasing their faith in the treatment process. This results in a sense of positivity and reduces the need for hospital visits. By offering telehealth services, long-term care facilities can make a tremendous difference in the lives of their patients.  

nurse home care hand on senior grandmother shoulder give support empathy
Nurse’s hand on elderly resident’s shoulder

This invaluable access not only enhances their quality of life but also brings much-needed convenience and support right to their fingertips. It empowers them to take charge of their treatments, connect with their family, and have access to the support they require. This results in a sense of hope, joy, and overall improved well-being.  

Telehealth services have revolutionized the healthcare industry. Especially for long-term care facilities, telehealth has brought hope, joy, and a sense of connection to patients struggling with their mental health in isolation. Ultimately, telehealth’s integration in the long-term care facilities can significantly improve the quality of life for patients, enabling them to access support without leaving their place of residence. This makes it an essential tool for healthcare professionals to consider incorporating into their treatment plans.  

 Ready to start your telehealth cart journey? Consider BlueCart from AURA Technologies LLC. 

BlueCart is the perfect solution for long-term care facilities looking to start their telehealth journey.  


  1. Telehealth Should Be the Standard Protocol in Long-Term Care Facilities (meditelecare.com) 
  2. Is Isolation Killing America’s Nursing Home Residents? (aarp.org) 
  3. The Forgotten Psychopathology of Depressed Long-Term Care Facility Residents: A Call for Evidence-Based Practice – PMC (nih.gov)
  4. Nurses’ widespread job dissatisfaction, burnout, and frustration with health benefits signal problems for patient care – PubMed (nih.gov)
  5. Telehealth Brings Important Services to Rural Long-Term Care Facilities – The Rural Monitor (ruralhealthinfo.org)
  6. Loneliness and Isolation in Long-term Care and the COVID-19 Pandemic – PMC (nih.gov)
  7. Fact Sheet: Strengthening the Health Care Workforce | AHA  or Staff Shortages Choking U.S. Health Care System | Healthiest Communities Health News | U.S. News (usnews.com) )
  8. Loneliness and social support among nursing home residents without cognitive impairment: A questionnaire survey – ScienceDirect
  9. Telehealth and the Future of Long-Term Care – Bill of Health (harvard.edu)
  10. Social Isolation—the Other COVID-19 Threat in Nursing Homes | Geriatrics | JAMA | JAMA Network
  11. Burnout-Among-Health-Care-Professionals-A-Call-to-Explore-and-Address-This-Underrecognized-Threat.pdf (nam.edu)
  12. Nursing Home Residents, Transfer Trauma or Relocation Stress Syndrome | Emancipatory Sciences Lab (ucsf.edu)