August 12, 2022
Est. Reading: 3 minutes

How Can I Assist Aging Parents When I Live a Long Distance Away?

Technology is a very useful tool for people who live a long distance from home. With our society becoming more mobile—children moving away from home for jobs, marriages, better weather, or more opportunity—many adult children depend on technology to maintain contact with their aging parents. However, long-distance relationships are inherently difficult, much more so when planning to Assist Aging Parents from afar.

According to the Family Caregivers Alliance, only around 13 to 15% of the approximately 34.2 million family caregivers in America who provide unpaid care to an older loved one are caring for their parent or loved one from a distance. However, this still leaves between 5 and 7 million individuals trying to offer long-distance caregiving assistance to family members who live far away.

If you are one of the millions of Americans seeking long-distance caregiving assistance for an aging loved one, particularly an older parent living alone, we understand your situation and are here to assist you.

Tips for Caring for an Elderly Parent While You Are Away

While providing long-distance caring to a parent or loved one is not always ideal, it is not difficult if you have a strategy in place. Here are a few caring ideas to set a strategy in motion:

Talk With Your Siblings. If you have siblings, have a formal discussion with them about your parents or other loved ones who need more care. Ascertain that everyone understands who will be accountable for certain parts of your loved one's care. Consider who can make financial choices, who can make medical decisions, and who can best keep critical documents organized, depending on your particular strengths. If you determine that one sibling will be in charge of all decisions, commit to keeping the other informed.

Maintain Contact With Your Friends and Neighbors. When you are responsible for an elderly parent from a distance, it helps to have eyes and ears on the ground who can provide you with an honest report of how your loved one is doing. By connecting with your loved one's close friends and neighbors—people who see them on a daily basis—you may get an accurate picture of how your loved one is doing and determine whether or not you need to seek more assistance at home.

Schedule Regular Visits. While frequent trips home to check on your loved one may be impractical or financially unsustainable, scheduling regular visits every 4-6 weeks may be considerably more feasible. Without face-to-face interactions with your loved one, long-distance caregiving is ineffective. You must evaluate their health and care requirements individually in order to make the best choices on their behalf. Additionally, as someone who cares about you, your visits would offer pleasure and happiness to your parent or loved one and give them something to look forward to.

Maintain Contact Through Technology. Between visits, technologies such as Skype or Facetime may help you maintain meaningful connections with your loved one. In comparison to a phone conversation, a video chat may provide you with additional information about their well-being. For instance, you may notice that they have a bruise on their face from a fall at home, or that their normally clean home seems to be in disorder. When you are caring for an aging parent from a distance, these visual signals may provide you with important information that can help you make better choices.

Enlist Assistance. Caring for a family member is difficult regardless of whether you live 20 minutes away by car or five hours away by air. Regardless of the distance, having assistance may be beneficial while caring for an elderly parent. Consider hiring an in-home caregiver to alleviate some of your stress and to help your loved one feel more secure in their own home. Tandem can take care of your loved one's caring requirements and provide you with peace of mind.

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