Since the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a shift towards health and social care appointments taking place remotely, rather than in person.Read our advice on how to get the best from these consultations.
Video consultations can take place using a smartphone, tablet or computer.
They often use a well-known platform like Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams, but sometimes different apps, like Attend Anywhere, are used.
You should be told which platform is used and provided with a link to join the consultation. If you haven’t received a link by text or email the day before your appointment, contact the health or social care service.
These tips will help you get the best from a video consultation:
choose a comfortable, well-lit, quiet and private space, with good WiFi or data signal
check your equipment in advance: make sure the camera and the microphone work
if the person with dementia has not used video calling before, you could do a trial run with a family member or friend to familiarise them with the process
if you find it difficult to interrupt during a video call, you could consider raising your hand or using an ‘I want to speak’ card – see Sources of support, below
your video consultation will be private and will not be recorded without your consent. If you would like to record the consultation, inform the health or social care professional
you may also be able to invite other people who are involved with the person with dementia – such as family members – to join the video consultation remotely, by sharing the link with them, or in person in the same room as you
Make notes in advance about what you would like to discuss, such as symptoms; changes in behaviour; medication; tests that you would like to arrange; test results
Before the remote consultation, ask the person with dementia (if possible) what they want to get out of it and how much they want you to speak for them
Before the appointment, or at the start, consider informing the professional of any communication tips that would help the person with dementia, such as explaining simply what the appointment is for; speaking in short, straightforward sentences; and avoiding open-ended questions like, “What do you think?”
Inform the health or social care professional if you hold a health and welfare lasting power of attorney (LPA) that allows you to make decisions on the person’s behalf – see Sources of support for our information on LPA
If you would like to speak to a dementia specialist Admiral Nurse about making the most of remote consultations or any other aspect of dementia, please call our free Helpline on 0800 888 6678 (Monday-Friday 9am-9pm; Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.