When you have a loved one who needs care across the miles, caring from a distance can be tough. Particularly in the wake of COVID-19, even if you have a relative who’s close by, you may not be able to see them and care for them as regularly as you once did. If you’re living far away from elderly parents, you may feel cut off and a little helpless. However—long-distance caregiving is possible, and you can help Mom and Dad, or your other loved one, even if you’re far away.
Read on to learn more about how to care for aging parents long-distance, and how remote caregiving works.
Long-Distance Caregiving: How Can I Help My Elderly Parents from Afar?
One question you may be asking yourself is, how is long-distance caregiving even possible? It may sound almost impossible since you can’t physically be there, but caring for aging parents from a distance can be accomplished. First, ensure their money is being handled properly. If you’re not in their physical location, this may be a topic you should broach. Having a conversation about money is never easy, but giving you access, or at least knowledge, about their finances, is a large aspect of long-distance caregiving and can help your parents, should there be an emergency.
There are, of course, further ways on how to help elderly parents from a distance. Next, make sure that you make contact with a trusted person who is close by in proximity to them, such as a friend or neighbor. If you can’t be there, a responsible part of long-distance caregiving is making sure someone can in case of emergency. Stay in touch with this person as often as you deem fit—whether it’s daily, weekly, or biweekly, but make sure you keep in touch to make sure your loved one is being looked after, even if it’s just to check in and say “hello.”
Long-Distance Caregiving: How Do You Take Care of an Aging Parent Long-Distance?
If you’ve ever wondered, “How do I become a long-distance caregiver to my aging mother or father?” it definitely has its challenges. Other than having the financial talk and finding a friendly neighbor, there are some other factors to keep in mind as you walk this path of long-distance caregiving:
- Look for the local chapter of your Family Caregiver Alliance. They can help give you helpful tips, pointers, and can support you when you feel burnout or simply feel upset or sad about the situation.
- Find a coordinator local to your parents that goes beyond a friend or neighbor. Long-distance caregiving can only go so far. If you are worried about your elderly mother or father living alone, and if they may require more care, inquire about a case manager or coordinator who may be able to step in on your behalf.
- Have the legal discussion. Even more troublesome than the financial discussion, at some point you’re going to have to have the legal talk with your parents regarding power of attorney and documents of that nature. This can be one of the toughest pieces of long-distance caregiving.
One of the most important things is to stay informed. It can be a hard part of long-distance caregiving to be the “bad guy,” but if you believe your parents need a higher level of support, quite often, you’re going to have to be the one to bring that to the attention of their medical and support staff, particularly if your parents live alone or with each other.
For more tips on long-distance caregiving, or to hear more about mobility products that could be life-changing, such as power lift chairs or wheelchair ramps, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want both caregivers and their loved ones to live their best lives.