As a family caregiver for your elderly parent, you are going to face a variety of challenges. This is particularly true if your elderly loved one lives at a distance from you. One of the greatest challenges that can come with being a distance caregiver for your senior is feeling as though you are not as connected with them as you should be. Being connected with your parent is not just about you making sure that their needs are fulfilled and that you understand the care efforts you need to give them.
This is also about protecting your senior’s mental and emotional health and well-being, and quality of life. Regular mental stimulation, social interaction, and validation help to keep your parent’s life fulfilling and meaningful as they age in place.
Use these tips to help stay in touch with your elderly parent throughout your time as their distance caregiver:
Schedule your calls for specific times each day or several times a week. Consider these scheduled calls as important as any other obligation or appointment on your schedule and honor them. This will not only ensure that you communicate with them regularly but will give your parent something to look forward to.
Start an old-fashioned correspondence with them. Handwritten letters, notes, and cards are far more meaningful to those who receive them than typed versions. Get into the habit of writing letters or notes to your parent each week or even every few days. This will show them that you are thinking about them and taking the time to communicate with them in a meaningful way. They can then respond to you, giving you insight into their condition and how they are doing.
Help your parent learn how to safely and effectively utilize social media. Though these communications will not hold the emotional impact of handwritten versions, it is an effective way to send quick and convenient communications, share pictures and videos, and even plan activities.
Plan a time to visit. Even if it will be several months in the future, knowing that you have a visit coming in the near future will help both of you feel more confident and give you something to look forward to.
How can Senior Care Help?
Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult can be challenging and stressful. Fortunately, home care can be a meaningful and valuable solution for your care routine. An in-home care services provider can step in to support your care efforts, fill care gaps, and provide services that you cannot handle on your own due to your own challenges and limitations or because you or your parent are not comfortable with you handling them.
This care provider can also be a valuable source of companionship and support, offering your parent greater mental and emotional stimulation, boosting their mental and emotional health, and encouraging them to live a lifestyle that is more engaged and fulfilling as they age in place. This can offer you tremendous peace of mind as you know that they are getting all of the care that they need while also allowing you to focus on your own needs and other obligations and responsibilities in your life.