Caregiving is complex enough without the added stress of living far away from your loved one. In today’s world, however, there are plenty of tools to provide help for elderly parents — even if you’re not nearby.
Long-distance caregiving is a fairly new idea, and it can work wonders in connecting family members who live apart. Here’s how to help elderly parents from anywhere in the world.
Communicate with Your Parents Daily
When it comes to supporting your elderly parents from a distance, you must rely on modern methods of communication such as phone calls, text messaging, and video chats. It’s a good idea to have at least one conversation with your parents each day. A lot can happen in only a few hours, and you don’t want to miss their latest updates.
If you have elderly parents refusing help, it might be harder to check in with them regularly. However, it’s still best to try reaching out once or twice a day at minimum.
Visit as Often as Possible
You can be an effective long-distance caregiver, but there’s only so much you can find out over the phone. Make sure you plan frequent in-person visits if possible. If you’re unable to physically go to your parents’ home, ask a local friend or family member to check in on them.
This is important because many seniors will state that everything is fine and they are safe. In reality, there could be safety hazards, health issues, and cognitive problems present. During your visit, check the entire home for safety and security risks. If you see anything concerning, you can address it easily in person.
Take Care of Their Finances and Bills
One great way to show your support from a distance is to help your parents with financial matters. Billing and money management can all be done online these days, so take advantage of the resources you have.
Your parents likely need extra help managing their money. As they get older, it can become more difficult for them to ensure that their bills are paid and that their money is going where it needs to be.
Automated payments work best for people who can’t regularly log on to pay bills. However, be mindful of your parents’ financial situation: if they are low on money each month, auto-pay might be a bad idea.
You can create spreadsheets, weekly budgets, and bill schedules right from your laptop or computer. There are many ways to help your elderly parents financially from a distance.
Manage Their Healthcare and Private Information
You might be wondering how to help elderly parents when they have so many complex and unique health problems. Managing their healthcare and protected information can go a long way.
Health records are private and protected by law — and for good reason. You don’t want a stranger to have access to your parents’ personal information, as they could be up to no good.
Instead, request access to your parents’ healthcare information and any forms they need to fill out. This will take the burden off of them and still allow them to get the care that they need.
You can schedule medical appointments, pay medical bills, and research new treatments for senior health conditions — all from a distance. You don’t have to be right next to your parents to make a positive difference in their lives.
Create an Emergency Plan
In case of an emergency, it’s essential that first responders and local family members know how to help elderly parents. Craft an emergency plan with all your parents’ important information to speed up the process.
Include the following information in their emergency plan:
These are just the basics. You can add any other important information to the emergency plan to get your parents the best care in case of accidents and injuries.
Help for Elderly Parents: Hire In-Home Caregivers
In-home caregiving is different from nursing homes and facilities. A team of in-home caregivers can make sure your parents stay safe and healthy 24/7.
If you are unable to manage your parents’ care while being long-distance, in-home help is the best route to take. Trained professionals will manage your parents’ routines, medications, and home environment to ensure they are safe, happy, and healthy.
Protect Your Loved Ones from Afar
You can take great care of your elderly parents from a distance simply by checking in and being available for them. And if you can’t manage their care on your own, in-home caregiving is a wonderful option.
Long-distance caregiving is possible, and it works best when done with a team of professionals.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.