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Telehealth Therapy: A New Option for Senior Counseling

Telehealth has been around for years, but it has become more popular lately with new advancements in video conferencing technology. It’s easier than ever to have a face-to-face conversation with your healthcare provider through the internet. One of the most popular applications of telehealth is online counseling. People of all ages use online therapy, but it can be particularly valuable for seniors who may have a hard time getting to a counselor’s office. If you’ve been considering seeing a therapist, you should know what telehealth therapy is, how it works, and what the benefits are.

What Is Telehealth Therapy?

Telehealth therapy is the provision of virtual healthcare services. It usually occurs as real-time, face-to-face communication between the healthcare provider and patient using a computer, web camera, and microphone.

Many of the services that healthcare professionals provide can be done virtually. For example, certain medical tests and exams can be done at home with the help of a family member while the doctor explains the process through the screen. Telehealth appointments aren’t always as efficient or effective as in-person appointments, but in many cases, healthcare providers can accomplish just as much with a virtual visit as they would with an in-person appointment.

Telehealth therapy has become an especially popular option for therapy. Because mental health counseling is usually a verbal conversation, virtual therapy appointments with a webcam can be just as valuable as in-person meetings.

Is Telehealth Therapy Different Than In-person Senior Counseling?

One of the most common concerns for telehealth and senior counseling is that the quality of the service won’t be as good. Some seniors are hesitant to spend time and money on a service when they’re not sure that it will benefit them, which is understandable.

There are some differences between in-person senior counseling and telehealth therapy services. For example, some seniors may have a harder time connecting to their counselor through a video meeting. It may be more difficult to stay focused during the counseling session when the therapist isn’t physically there with you.

However, many people have found that they prefer telehealth therapy over in-person appointments. Because you can attend the meetings from home, you may feel more comfortable than you’d feel in a counselor’s office. Some people feel less vulnerable when they’re in their own homes, which makes it easier to open up about the challenges they’re facing.


Telehealth therapy for senior counseling has a number of benefits. The accessibility is one of the greatest advantages. If you have an internet connection and a computer with a webcam and microphone, you can attend counseling. You don’t have to leave home and travel to your counselor’s office, which eliminates any transportation concerns. This is especially valuable for seniors who don’t drive and rely on public transportation, shuttle services, or rides from family or friends.

Not having to travel to the appointment also means that you save time. With telehealth therapy, a 45-minute counseling session is a 45-minute commitment. If you have to drive or take public transportation to the appointment, the whole process could take a couple hours.

Many seniors appreciate the privacy of virtual therapy, too. Counseling is very common, and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed to work with a therapist. However, we understand that it’s a private experience. When you schedule a telehealth therapy appointment, you don’t have to worry about running into someone you know in the waiting room.

Another important benefit of telehealth therapy is health and safety. Seniors who have compromised immune systems or other medical issues can reduce their direct contact with others by attending therapy sessions virtually instead of in-person.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put health on the forefront of everyone’s minds in the last few months. Everybody has had to socially distance and stay home as much as possible to stay healthy and slow the spread of the virus. Telehealth therapy allows you to start or continue therapy safely so that you don’t have to sacrifice your mental health or your physical health.


Telehealth therapy isn’t a foolproof solution, and there are some concerns about telehealth and seniors. Depending on your personal situation, you may face some barriers when you try to start virtual senior counseling.

Technological issues are the most common obstacle for seniors. Some older adults feel very comfortable navigating their computer or smartphone, but others may not feel so adept. If you don’t use your phone or computer very often, it may take a couple weeks to familiarize yourself with the telehealth system.

Another barrier is distrust of technology. It’s good to exercise caution and protect your privacy while online. For some seniors, the idea of sharing private information through the computer can cause anxiety. Counselors who provide virtual therapy use safe, secure platforms, but we understand that it may feel uncomfortable to share your information online.

You also will need a strong internet connection for successful virtual counseling sessions. You and your counselor should be able to see and hear each other clearly, which will be difficult without strong internet.

Is Telehealth Therapy Covered by Insurance?

Your coverage will vary depending on the type of insurance you have, so you should check with your insurance provider before you attend a virtual therapy appointment. Fortunately, many insurance companies have expanded their telehealth therapy coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic so that people can stay safely at home while continuing their healthcare services.

Medicare currently offers the same coverage for virtual counseling as they do for in-person counseling. They may restrict coverage again in the future, or it may become their new norm.

How to Get Started With Telehealth Therapy

The first step toward starting senior counseling through telehealth therapy is confirming your coverage with your insurance provider. Make sure to find out if there’s a copay or coinsurance so you don’t face any unexpected charges.

Then, you can start searching for a therapist. If you think there’s a possibility of scheduling any in-person appointments, limit your search to your city or community. If you plan to do counseling entirely online, you can expand your search to a much wider area.

Reach out to a few different therapists or senior counseling centers so that you have multiple options. Ask them what they specialize in, how long they’ve been practicing, or any other questions that are important to you. Different counselors have different styles and backgrounds, so you’ll probably feel drawn more to some than others.

Once you’ve chosen a counselor, give it at least a few weeks to see if you work well together. It may take some time to start feeling connected to your counselor through virtual sessions.

Telehealth therapy makes therapy more accessible for many people. If not for this model of treatment, some seniors may not be able to receive mental health services at all. The telehealth system isn’t perfect for everyone, but many find it to be a safe, private, and simple alternative to in-person appointments.

Blue Moon Senior Counseling is currently offering telehealth therapy services to clients in all 50 states. Our licensed counselors specialize in therapy for seniors, so they’re here to help you work through any challenges or concerns you may have. To learn more about telehealth therapy options for senior counseling, contact us today.

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