Caring for elderly parents is challenging, particularly if you live an hour or more away. It can be extremely stressful if you have more than the usual concerns about your parent’s health and safety and you’re unable to get assistance to them quickly in an emergency. “More than the usual concerns” would be situations where there are early signs of memory loss or recent falls, for example. The good news is senior home healthcare is available for adult children who are concerned about their aging parent’s health, safety, and ability to complete everyday tasks independently.
As a long-distance family caregiver, the most important step is ensuring the safety of your aging loved ones.
Allcare Home Health has prepared some helpful information to make caring for elderly parents who are long distance, a little bit easier.
Keep An Updated List of Important Numbers
When you live far away from aging parents, you will usually communicate mainly through phone calls or other forms of technology such as email, texting or FaceTime calls. It is extremely important to maintain a list of contacts that are important to aging parent’s well-being, for example:
- Primary Care Physicians and other doctors involved in their care, i.e. Cardiologists, Orthopedists, etc.
- Insurance Companies
- Local Emergency Services
- Grocery Delivery Services
- Snow Removal Services
Have someone that you trust check in on your parents regularly. A trusted neighbor or nearby family member is a good idea. Be sure to have this person’s contact information handy so that you can be updated and be assured that your parents are doing well.
Create An Emergency Plan
Hopefully, your loved ones will never experience an emergency, but it is always best to be prepared just in case. Sit down with your parents and create a plan in case of an emergency or health crisis.
Keep a list of airlines that have direct flights, prepare a first aid kit, and keep a plan in place for emergency travel if your plan is to have your parents come to you during a disaster or dangerous inclement weather, i.e. an approaching hurricane or blizzard. If this is not possible, make sure that your parents know what to do during an emergency and prepare an emergency supply kit for their home. Have someone close by (a trusted neighbor or close family member) check in to make sure that they will be safe until the emergency situation passes.
Install A Security System
A security system is an easy way to ensure your parent’s safety if they live independently. Video and audio surveillance, intruder alerts, and medical emergency alarms are just a few examples of modern technology that is available for seniors who live alone. These features also offer peace of mind to adult children of seniors as they can feel at ease knowing their loved ones are protected.
Arrange For Care
Allcare Home Health Agency, Inc. provides a variety of services including non-medical personal care, companionship, and assistance with activities of daily living. Experienced Caregivers, CNAs, and Home Health Aides are there when you can’t be.
Our professional caregivers will provide assistance with personal care, meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping, laundry, and more. Most of all, our caregivers are there to keep loved ones safe and to monitor for any medical concerns. This is especially important if your parents live a distance away from family members or close by family members who work outside the home.
We offer a minimum of 4 hours per shift (12 hours a week minimum) to 24-hour care. No long-term contracts are required. Cancel at any time with only a 48-hour notice.
Provide Emotional Support
You may not always be able to offer physical support for your aging parents due to distance, but you can still offer emotional support from afar. Emotional availability is often overlooked as a way to provide care for loved ones. Be sure to keep in touch on a regular basis and inquire about their health and well-being. VISIT OFTEN! Calls are always nice, but hugs are even better.
Allcare Home Health Agency, Inc. is always available to provide services to seniors who need assistance in the Raleigh/Durham area. Call us to schedule an in-home assessment with one of our nurses.