As our parents age, providing them with the care they need from a distance can be a challenging task. With the right strategies, however, it is entirely possible for adult children to ensure that their aging parents are safe and secure even if they can’t be present in person.
Here are 10 essential strategies for caring for aging parents from afar:
- Understanding Legal Documents: It is important to understand the legal documents, such as a living will and power of attorney document, that are in place for your parent(s). This way you can ensure that their wishes are respected if they no longer have the capacity to make decisions for themselves.
- Familiarizing Yourself with Available Support Services: Get to know the different types of health care solutions available to your parent(s). This could include home-based care, respite services, adult daycare, and nursing homes. So that if there is ever a need, you will be familiar with the options.
- Developing Long-Distance Communication Systems: To stay in touch with your parents you can set up a regular schedule of phone calls or video chats so they know you are thinking of them. You can also set up alerts and reminders to ensure that you don’t forget to reach out.
- Utilizing Technology for Remote Monitoring: Technology such as sensors, cameras, and medical alert systems can be installed in your parents’ home to provide remote monitoring from a distance. This will allow you to stay updated on the wellbeing of your parents even when you’re not with them.
- Coordinating Schedules Among Family Members: Task family members with certain duties such as medication reminders, grocery shopping, and cleaning so that your parents have the support they need on a regular basis.
- Ensuring Access to Needed Resources: Make sure your parent(s) have access to important resources such as transportation, medical care, and food. When necessary, look into their eligibility for assistance and government programs.
- Being a Good Listener: When communicating with your parent(s), make sure to listen carefully and take the time to ask questions. This way you can gain insight into how they are feeling and provide appropriate support. The goal is to ensure that your parents feel heard and understood even if you cannot be physically present.
- Respecting Their Independence: As much as possible, strive to respect the independence of your parent(s). Offer help when needed but don’t do things for them that they can do for themselves. If necessary, help them develop strategies for managing tasks and activities on their own.
- Regularly Checking in with a Care Manager: If your parents are receiving care from a home health agency or other providers, make sure to check in regularly with the assigned care manager. This way you can ensure that your parents are getting the attention they need.
- Seeking Professional Help: When facing difficult decisions, it is okay to seek the help of a professional. Look into local resources such as geriatric care managers and financial advisors who can support you in making the best decisions for your parent(s). This way you can rest assured that your parents are receiving the care they need.
Taking on the responsibility of caring for aging parents from a distance is no easy task, but with these essential strategies in mind, it can be manageable and rewarding. By staying organized, utilizing technology, and seeking professional help when necessary, adult children can ensure that their parent(s) are receiving the best care possible.
Do you have any tips for caring for aging parents from a distance? Share them in the comments below!