Serving the home health, home care and hospice industry since 1999.
by Audrey Kinsella
Addiction to opioids and other highly addictive drugs is a national problem that is growing as rapidly among seniors as it is among the rest of the U.S. population. Two national and twelve regional Telemedicine Resource Centers provide 24/7 assistance for people suffering from addictions, via telehealth videoconferencing or toll-free telephone numbers staffed by clinicians.
TRCs offer a ready-made resource for telemedicine guidance. Established in 2006 and funded by 3-year renewable grants from the Department of Health and Human Services, TRCs provide regular webinars to educate staff, patients, and patient families about the realities of living with an addiction. These resources are especially welcomed in rural areas where transportation to treatment sites may be impossible.
Despite distances that rural addicts face, TRC sites note that their staff persons will offer callers in need the personalized value of one-on-one discussions with on-site clinical staff.
Current studies of addicted elders begin the count at age 75. One of these studies, by Caron Healthcare, a provider of comprehensive, specialized behavioral healthcare and addiction rehabilitation for older adults, finds that "Addiction in older adults is one of America's fastest growing health issues, with 2.5 million adults having an alcohol or drug problem."1
As has always been the case with addiction, readiness dictates program success. TRC's telehealth clinicians and counselors are ready to engage in discussions about taking steps to stop an addictive lifestyle. However, one TRC site makes clear to potential clients, "contact us when you are ready."
National Telemedicine Resource Center offers descriptions of each of 12 regional centers: telehealthresourcecenter.org. Each description contains geographic information for locating each caller's local regional center, plus toll-free phone numbers of each center, updated to 2018.
TexLa Telehealth Resource Center
Serving Texas and Louisiana
Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center
Serving Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and New Jersey [shared]
Phone: 855-MATRC4U (628.7248)
Upper Midwest Telehealth Resource Center
Serving Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio
Southeastern Telehealth Resource Center
Serving Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida
Heartland Telehealth Resource Center
Serving Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma
Phone: 877-643-HTRC (4872)
South Central Telehealth Resource Center
Serving Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee
Southwest Telehealth Resource Center
Serving Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah
Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center
Serving Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming and Alaska
Great Plains Telehealth Resource & Assistance Center
Serving North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska
California Telehealth Resource Center
NorthEast Telehealth Resource Center
Serving New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey [shared], New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
Audrey Kinsella, MA, MS, is HCTR's telemedicine reporter. She has written on home telehealthcare and new technologies for home care service delivery for 20 years, in 6 books, multiple web sites, and more than 150 published articles. Audrey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-348-5308.
©2018 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. email@example.com