Trying to care for an aging loved one who lives in a different city or state can be a difficult task. You’re likely to be presented with various challenges, which include maintaining a positive and fulfilling relationship with your loved one. These tips can help you address many of the common problems long-distance caregivers experience.
1. Create a Comprehensive Contact List
Create a list of everyone your loved one stays in touch with. Long-distance caregivers should keep an up-to-date contact list of their loved ones’ doctors, medical specialists, neighbors, friends, and faith leaders. Reach out to these individuals whenever you need assistance.
Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional elder care seniors can trust and rely on.
2. Update Medical Information Every Few Months
Don’t wait until there’s an emergency to update your loved one’s medical information. Keep a comprehensive list describing your loved one’s health conditions and medications with you at all times. Consider printing out additional copies for people who live closer to your loved one.
3. Contact Local Senior Organizations
Even smaller cities often have dedicated senior organizations that offer affordable or free services. They might be able to assist your loved one with rides to medical appointments, the grocery store, and religious gatherings. Many also organize social events so seniors can interact with one another in a safe and comfortable setting.
4. Work with a Professional Caregiver
There may come a time when you can no longer provide adequate care from a distance and need to hire a professional caregiver. There are a variety of reasons family caregivers should consider homecare. Barrie, ON, families often have additional responsibilities that make it more challenging to provide the care their senior loved ones need and deserve. A professional home caregiver can take over your important caregiving duties, allowing you more time to focus on yourself. A trained in-home caregiver can give you peace of mind and help with many tasks such as making meals, providing medication reminders, running errands, and light housekeeping.
5. Find New Ways to Keep in Touch
A phone isn’t the only way to maintain a long-distance relationship. Spending some time helping your loved one create social media accounts and set up an email address could strengthen your relationship. If your loved one has access to that type of technology, he or she might not be as hesitant to contact you when feeling lonely or needing help.
6. Make Your Visits as Productive as Possible
Enjoy every visit you have with your loved one, but also try to be as productive as possible. Before your trip, create a schedule and send it to your loved one and the in-home caregiver. Even if the schedule is vague, it can help you make the most of your time with your parent.
7. Remember You Can’t Control Everything
Long-distance caregivers should remind themselves that some things are out of their control. They can do their best to ensure their aging loved ones are comfortable and happy, but mishaps can happen at any time. At some point, you may need to ask for help, especially if your loved one has a serious medical condition such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Barrie, ON, live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 647-970-3803 to learn more about our customized care plans.