Last Updated on October 29, 2019
No matter how much you care about your loved one, it’s not always possible to be there all of the time. However, there are some strategies for long-distance caregiving that can make things easier for everyone involved, including both the patient and caregiver.
Read on to learn more about how to help elderly parents from a distance.
Long-Distance Caregiving: How Can I Help?
If you’re an hour or more away from your parents or the person you are caring for, you may be feeling a little helpless because you aren’t physically there, providing round-the-clock care. However, there are many things you can do from a distance that can help your parents (or patient) immensely.
Remote caregiving can still be nurturing, and here are a few things that you’re able to do from a distance:
- Manage money, pay bills, or direct funds
- Interview and vet in-home respite care or in-home providers to help with round-the-clock care
- Research skilled nursing facilities to see if this is an option
- Provide time and emotional support via telephone or electronically, with apps such as Skype
- Make sure the home that the person is living in is up to code for their needs, and take charge of any modifications that need to be made
All of these actions can help long-distance caregiving for an aging parent. If you’re able, try to visit as often as you can to provide face-to-face support, but for some, especially those halfway across the country or world, this isn’t possible. Try to teach your parent to use Skype, Google Hangout, or some other video conferencing software so that you can keep in touch remotely.
Long-Distance Caregiving: Finding Local Resources
If you’re far away, but the person needs more intensive or round-the-clock care, it may be tough to research and interview people from afar. This is one stumbling block when it comes to long-distance caregiving, but with a little research, you will be able to find adequate care for your loved one. First, you may want to try the patient’s town or state government website to see which local resources are available. They may be able to set you up with a case manager, Other resources to try to include the Eldercare Locator, National Institute on Aging website, or the Family Care Navigator.
Long-Distance Caregiving: Long-Distance Caregiving Tips
For those who are able to visit occasionally, it’s a good idea to be especially alert during each visit, and also plan well before each visit. Aging and caregiving can be a tough road and even harder for someone who is far away. A good thing to do is to ask your parent (or patient) what they would like to do during your visit so that you have an idea of how to plan their time.
Also, be fully aware of each new medication, medical need, or other issues that may affect a person’s health. Even with remote caregiving, you should be up to date on every new issue or setback. Reassess the person’s home and environment during each visit as well. Potentially, they may need newer modifications to help them age in place safely and securely.
For more ideas on long-distance caregiving, or to hear about mobility products that can be life-changing, such as stairlifts or wheelchair ramps, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want both caregivers and their patients to live their best lives.