Austin doctors encourage seniors to take care of their overall health during pandemic

Simple Health

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some Austin physicians are part of national video urging people not to neglect their health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group says the video is meant to encourage people to visit their primary care physician especially elderly patients.

“We participated in the video to reach out to our senior patients about their care,” said Dr. Kevin Spencer with Premier Family Physicians in Austin.

The physicians point to studies that show more than 50% of seniors have put off doctor appointments for fear of going into a medical facility and being exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

The video called “We are Here for You,” is a collaboration with physician groups from more than 80 communities across the country including Austin doctors from Premier Family Physicians, Capital Medical Clinic and Austin Regional Clinic.

MORE: Here’s how to help senior citizens who are by themselves during COVID-19 isolation

“A lot of these seniors have other medical conditions and the truth is they’re more at risk of having morbidity or even mortality from their medical conditions than they are from catching COVID-19,” said Spencer.

During the first wave of the stay-at-home orders from Gov. Greg Abbott, Premier Family Physicians rushed to adjust to telemedicine by attempting to call all of its 9,000 elderly patients within three weeks to help set up video visits.

With the threat of another shutdown among rising COVID-19 cases, Spencer urges patients to see their doctors now and keep up with their appointments, vaccinations, blood work, and screenings.

Spencer says televisits are an option especially for seniors but says in-person visits are safe with separate entrances and separate exam rooms for those who have coronavirus symptoms and those who do not.

“When you have heart disease, diabetes or COPD and other lung disorders; these are things that need to be actively managed.”

The WeAreHereForYou website also has other resources including information on new forms of healthcare delivery, including virtual visits, parking lot medicine, telehealth after-hours and on-demand.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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