You may feel at a loss when living far away from an elderly loved one requiring extra assistance or care. Sure, it is common for families to be separated by multiple cities or states, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult. Often, our elderly parents are fine living independently and do not need extra help. However, it’s not uncommon for their needs to change as they age. Uprooting your own family and moving back near an aging parent isn’t always feasible, and daily, or even monthly, visits may not be realistic. Nevertheless, you can still be an active and instrumental part of their overall care. Outlined below are many ways that you can serve as a long-distance caregiver and stay involved in their daily lives.
Peristyle Beau West is located in Mandeville, Louisiana. We specialize in providing assisted living and memory care services to senior citizens. Please contact us today to schedule a tour of our beautiful assisted living community.
Choose the Best Care Possible
When choosing a senior care provider, make a list of options local to your loved one and begin an interview process. Set up a time when you can travel to meet up with them in person and interact personally with the team. Get a feel for each company, who they are, and what they offer. Make sure to check online reviews of the provider, whether they are a senior living community or home care agency. We recommend researching their Google Business and Yelp reviews, as they are typically most trustworthy. It’s also essential to get references from other families that have placed their elderly loved ones in their care.
Set Up Regular Lines of Communication
Once you decide which company is the best fit for your family, establish a line of communication with your loved one’s caregiver(s). Check in regularly and get to know them. You should engage in regular conversation to build a relationship with the caregiver team and stay on top of your loved one’s day-to-day activities and well-being. Get a list of activities of daily living that your elderly loved one is struggling to perform on their own, from household chores to doing the laundry to going to the bathroom. You and the caregiving team must be on the same page regarding your elderly loved one’s level of independence. Be sure to have a primary point of contact with the company for important questions, scheduling, and any problems or concerns. Also, request an after-hours number that can be easily reached at any time, if needed.
Help Manage Finances
From the comfort of your own home, you can be of great assistance to your loved one, who may live miles and miles away. Tending to tasks that may be overwhelming to them is a great way to help out. Offer to help manage their finances and pay their bills can be done remotely and is especially helpful for the elderly who can no longer handle such tasks. Keep financial discussions open and transparent for as long as they can be a part of the money managing decisions. If necessary, take the proper legal steps to become their Power of Attorney.
Act as an Information Coordinator
Serving as the ‘information coordinator’ can also be vital for a long-distance caregiver. Such a role would include:
- Understanding and verifying insurance information and benefits
- Researching their health problems and finding medical professionals who will provide them with the best care
- Keeping an up-to-date list of medications and potential side effects
- Helping to schedule doctor’s appointments or other essential appointments that they may need
- Coordinating transportation to and from appointments
Online shopping allows for just about anything to be delivered to your doorstep with the click of a button. You can make sure that your loved one has all the necessary items to meet their needs. Consumables such as toilet paper, paper towels, adult diapers, etc., can be set up on auto-ship, or purchased as needed, to arrive at their residence. Additionally, you can even arrange for their weekly groceries or ready-made meals to be delivered directly to them.
Use Technology To Stay Connected
It is possible to stay more connected than ever before with the use of modern technology. The use of smart thermostats allows you to control the temperature of your elderly loved one’s residence, while home access controls will enable you to lock and unlock doors remotely. Here is a helpful article on modern technologies you can implement to take the burden off your elderly loved one, helping to promote their safety and wellbeing.
Making the Most of Your Visits
Try to plan your visits long enough to see your aging loved one’s day-to-day activities and abilities. You will want to see how they independently function within their own environment and how they interact with their caregiver.
Be sure to schedule important doctor’s visits when you’re in town. This allows you to directly receive the information from the doctor without it being relayed from their caretaker. This also enables you to ask any questions, voice any concerns, or follow up with any new information that may be crucial to their care.
While in town, take time to evaluate their home and make sure their space and living arrangements are still conducive to their lifestyle and needs. Double-check the surroundings are safe and adequately accommodate your senior loved one. With each visit, make sure you reassess their needs and make any necessary tweaks or changes.
Don’t forget to spend quality time with your elderly loved one while in town. Engage in activities that the two of you can enjoy together and make sure your whole stay isn’t spent on caregiver tasks.
People who move from one state to another often have difficulty adjusting to caring for an elderly parent or loved one. We hope the above article provides helpful tips on how to take the stress out of caregiving from a distance. At Peristyle Beau West, we provide compassionate assisted living and memory care services to seniors in Mandeville, Louisiana. Please view our services and accommodations to see if we are a good fit for your elderly loved one. Our team of expertly trained caregivers is excited to meet you and your family.