Looking on as your parents grow older can be tough, but taking care of them from a distance is even harder. The guilt of long-distance caregiving can take an emotional toll on you, especially when you’re financially constrained. There’s no shame if you find yourself in this situation. Understandably, you can’t be everywhere all the time. The good news is that you can create helpful strategies to assist with caregiving to your aging parents without your physical presence. Hopefully, the below tips will go a long way to help you.
- Explore Alternative Living Arrangements
Sometimes, our parents are well enough to live on their own, and when this is the case, it allows our finances to take a breather. Others aren’t so lucky. You might have an aging parent with special needs who can’t reside on their own. In such cases, senior living communities are a great option. These facilities assist those with cognitive decline by offering skilled personnel and a healthy community where older people can access healthcare and companionship, all for a set fee.
- Include Siblings In The Process
If you have siblings, engaging with them is a great way forward when caring for elderly parents who require special attention. In family caregiving discussions, everyone must be given a clear role and responsibility, depending on the different aspects of your loved ones’ care. Pair their responsibilities with their skills, and lastly, ensure that every family member is kept in the loop with all necessary updates about your loved one. Long-distance caregiving needs a lot of communication to be successful, so clear, concise, and timely communication is always key.
- Visit Often
Being hours away from your loved ones requires you to make visits now and then. Constantly coming back home isn’t realistic, nor is it financially advisable, so it’s best to plan your visits every four to six weeks. This is more practical as it gives you more time to plan your logistics and finances ahead of every visit.
While long-distance caregiving can be convenient, you’ll still need to have face to face encounters with your loved ones to personally assess the status of their health and any needs they may have.
- Stay Connected
Technology has made connectivity easier in recent times. When caregiving at a distance, it is imperative that you make contact with your loved one as much as possible. In addition, you also need to connect with their doctors and specialists or the senior living community staff if they’re living within a community. You can keep in touch regularly via emails, phone calls, or video calls using Facetime, Zoom or Skype. There are several communication options now so staying in touch consistently isn’t as hard as it used to be.
All in all, caring for elderly parents from a distance can be challenging, but it can be done. Remember that you can always ask for help whenever you need it; you never have to do this alone. Consider these tips and create a personalized strategic plan that ensures your loved one receives all the necessary help they need.