Staying close to a senior loved one, such as an aging parent, isn’t always possible. As the senior in question starts needing additional support, this can become a source of worry and anxiety for a long-distance caregiver. Here are a few easy ways you can help ensure the well-being of a senior parent, even when you can’t physically be there with them.
Get Them The Help They Need
Being far away means having to remotely coordinate the help your senior loved one needs. If your senior parent needs someone to drive them various appointments, look into transportation services. If they need support preparing healthy meals for themselves, research meal delivery subscriptions. If they need help cleaning and maintaining the house, hire a regular maid service. Or maybe your parent just needs a regular homecare service. Many, if not all, of these services can be set up via internet, and most can even be set up on a rotating basis.
Stay Up To Date With Medicare
Healthcare coverage is a must for seniors, but it can be confusing and difficult to understand all the aspects, especially with annual changes. If your senior has trouble keeping up with their own healthcare coverage, assist them by staying up to date with any changes or opportunities for additional coverage by using Medicare’s resources page. There, you can find information about enrollment, available plans, and useful guides to using Medicare.
Inspect Their House
Each time you have the opportunity to visit in person, do a thorough safety check to make sure your parent can continue to age in place safely. Simple home modifications can prevent accidents such as slips, trips, and falls. If you do identify any potential hazards, make concrete plans to help your parent hire reliable contractors to fix them.
Use Remote Monitors
There is an extensive selection of products available specifically designed to help you keep track of a senior loved one’s health from a distance. This could be a tricky proposition for your parent, especially if they feel spied on or that it’s an intrusion. Look for something that can be a good compromise. For example, The Guardian recommends the FitBit as a cooler, less intrusive solution that seniors can get behind.
Hook Them Up With The Latest Tech
It may not work for all seniors, but you can really boost their feelings of being connected by helping them fully explore the online world. If they have a tablet or smartphone, download some new useful and helpful apps. Sign them up for a senior social network, or at least show them how they can use the internet to find like-minded people with similar interests. Having this sort of technology also allows you to take advantage of video calls, which can give you a heads up if something seems off with your senior parent.
Send Them Care Packages
If your parents ever sent you care packages when you were at college or moved out of home for the first time, it’s time to return the favor. Caregivers has some great recommendations, from moisturizing lotions to warm socks, books, and puzzles. Physical copies of recent family photos are also a great idea. Sending a little something regularly can make them feel appreciated and loved.
Have Regular Catch-Ups
It’s not always easy to fit long phone calls into your daily life, especially if you’re busy working or taking care of a family. But it’s important to help you both stay connected. Scheduling your catch-ups at a convenient time – like Sunday mornings – can help keep communication regular. Once in a while, you may need to have a more difficult conversation – keep these tips in mind to make it a positive and productive one.
Caring for a senior loved one from a distance can be emotionally taxing for everyone involved, but it doesn’t have to be logistically complicated. The modern world offers plenty of ways for you to stay in touch, keep track of their health, and hire the support services they require to lead a comfortable life. By taking advantage of these resources, you can ensure that your senior parent stays healthy and happy, without putting too much strain