Long Distance Caregiver Tips: How to Help Older Parents Remain Safe and Independent
Living at a distance from older loved ones can make the need for home care easier to miss. As a matter of fact, many adult children of aging parents never even realize that Mom and Dad need help until they return home for a visit or spend extended time together over the holiday season. If you’re a long distance caregiver for a senior loved one, it becomes that much more essential to have a plan in place for emergency situations and care.
The Mesa senior home care experts at Endeavor In-Home Care have developed these helpful tips to assist:
Plan in Advance
When you are not able to just drive across town to assist, it is imperative to have family conversations about the “what ifs” that might happen with your loved ones, including:
- Living situation wishes dependent on severity and who is involved – consider some circumstances for debate; for instance, a fractured bone calling for a rehab stay.
- How will you recognize when “it’s time” to implement a change? What would this look like?
- Monetary concerns in providing care, including how much work can family members afford to miss? What third party financial support may be obtainable?
- Advance directives for decision-making: make sure all is in order and retain a copy for yourself.
Evaluate Along the Way
When you don’t see your older parents each day, it can be tempting to want to neglect the often-uncomfortable business of evaluating health and wellbeing in favor of enjoying each other’s company, but it’s important to routinely give thought to and evaluate how your aging parents are really doing.
- Identify the registered nurse who is working with your loved ones’ physician and stay in communication with that person.
- Be sure there is a HIPAA Release of Information Form on file at all of your parents’ physicians’ offices so you can talk openly with the medical professionals, and make sure you have one for yourself.
- Have frequent telephone calls with your senior loved ones to check in and help them solve any problems.
- Maintain a list of the informal local resources: neighbors, church friends, any other family members who can be part of your senior parents’ support system. Keep in contact with that network and let them know how to reach you and that you welcome their calls.
Identify When to Travel and When to Stay Home
Problems are likely to happen, sometimes at a moment’s notice. You can’t travel for each problem, so decide ahead of time when you will travel and when you will use other resources to offer help.
- Ask your parents if this is a real medical or care emergency. As a part (not all) of your decision-making, ask the medical professional, social worker, or nurse for details and his/her advice on whether you should travel in.
- Can someone else locally help with the issue at hand or eyeball the situation for you?
- It’s OK to go there just to put your mind at ease as well. If remaining home and stressing is going to be less productive for you, then maybe you should go.
Consider Engaging Endeavor In-Home Care
In-home aging care not only provides exceptional care for older individuals, it can also offer long distance family members a greater sense of peace and connection. At Endeavor In-Home Care, providers of top-rated Mesa senior home care, our professional care providers have specialized training and can:
- Assess the circumstances
- Recognize problems, gaps, strengths and resources
- Monitor health, activity, nutrition, etc.
- Screen and coordinate other services and assistance
- Work with financial, legal and medical providers
- Communicate regularly with family members
- And much more
If your aging parents are in need of a professional, consider our services in home care and contact one of our professional caregivers in Gilbert, AZ and the surrounding areas at Endeavor In-Home Care at 480-498-2324. We treat your family like our own! See our full service area to find care in your community.