Sometimes, jobs or military service brings them to other countries. What do you do when you live too far away to stop by your parents’ house each week? Long-distance family caregivers find themselves dealing with unique situations where they want to help out, but it’s not possible. Here are the things that long-distance family caregivers and senior care providers need to address.
Start by figuring out what your parents’ care needs are. Your mom fell and broke her hip. She will need someone with her throughout the day and night to help with mobility, housekeeping, and transportation.
Your dad has never been organized and doesn’t cook. He needs someone to help with routine household chores.
Go through the things you know they need and ask them for input. Your mom may be embarrassed to admit that arthritis in the knees and ankles makes it hard for her to safely go up and down the stairs to the basement laundry room. Your dad may not want to admit his doctor told him to stop driving.
As you learn what their care needs are, focus on how a helping hand will keep them independent. Don’t let them feel as though they’re becoming a burden. Keep it positive and all about their getting to age at home as they want.
When you don’t live close by, you may not realize you can still be a tremendous help to your parents. You can schedule appointments and discuss their health goals with their doctors. You can help them with money management and bill paying.
You have to be ready to admit you can’t be the family caregiver from a distance. It’s a demanding role, and it’s not something that everyone feels capable of doing. It’s especially challenging when you live in another time zone.
If you use professional caregivers and care managers, your parents’ care needs are taken care of. You’re not giving up everything, though, as they’ll consult with you. You’re still guiding the assistance your parents get and helping be an integral part of their care plan.
Trust in senior care services to always be there for your parents. You don’t have to worry about them being alone. Hire caregivers to check up on them, help out as needed, and let you know how they’re doing. Call a senior home care agency to get started.