Nowadays, loved ones are spread out all over the country. We want to be there for our aging loved ones, but jobs, finances, and family can prevent us from doing so. As a result, we are left caring from afar, sometimes a nerve-racking, arduous, and expensive task. Here’s some helpful advice on how to make long-distance caregiving more manageable.
First and foremost, create a contact list of friends, neighbors, doctors, pastors, etc. Find a trustworthy person who lives close by and give them a key so they can easily check on your loved one.
Organize information so you have it in time of crisis: medical records, current medications, names and contact information for physicians and pharmacy. Have insurance policies, utility company names, and all financial and legal documents readily available.
When you do get to visit, be constructive. Enjoy one another, but also evaluate their changing needs. Schedule appointments, see what they are eating, and look for anything out of the ordinary. Examine old mail, buy household items, and find safety hazards like burned out light bulbs or loose rugs.
Determine if they are socializing with others, keeping up with chores, maintaining personal hygiene, and taking medications as directed. If not, perhaps more help is needed.
We understand how difficult caring for an aging parent can be. Remember, honesty is always best. Lovingly explain to your mom or dad what’s going on and what you think they need. He or she may be reluctant at first, but be patient. Most likely, they will come around and appreciate the extra help.