The AARP estimates 11 percent of caregivers live an hour or more away from their senior loved ones. Long-distance caregiving can be frustrating at times, as caregivers tend to use more of their financial resources to help their loved ones and may feel guilty for not being able to be with them as often as they would like. If you’re a long-distance caregiver, try these strategies to be a part of your loved one’s care while living far away.
1. Hold a Family Meeting
It’s important to assess what your loved one needs help with and divide responsibilities so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Hold a family meeting and talk with your loved one. Things to consider at the meeting may include:
- Paying bills and taking care of finances
- Grocery shopping and food preparation
- Personal needs, such as bathing, brushing teeth, and taking medications
- Driving to doctor appointments and errands
- Arranging regular check-ins to assess your loved one’s home and health
Your loved one may simply need a bit of help with some of the normal tasks of daily life. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a trusted provider of elderly home care Columbia seniors can depend on.
2. Consider Hiring a Caregiving Service
After the family meeting, you may realize your loved one would benefit from a caregiving service. Professional caregivers can help with a variety of care needs, from food preparation to transportation. Look into local services and decide the level of care your loved one needs. Make sure the home care agency is accredited and will work to ensure the caregiver is a good fit for your loved one.
When considering home care service, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
3. Stay on Top of Your Loved One’s Medical Care
Your loved one may need to go to several different doctors for various medical conditions. As a long-distance caregiver, you won’t be able to attend every doctor appointment with your loved one, but you can stay on top of his or her medical care by staying in contact with his or her medical providers. Have your loved one sign a medical release that allows you access to medical information. Keep a list of your loved one’s current medical conditions, prescription medications, health history, allergies, and providers.
4. Keep in Touch with the Pharmacist
Arrange to have all of your loved one’s prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. After getting a medical release signed, you can regularly check in with your loved one’s pharmacist to ensure all medications are being filled and picked up in a timely manner.
5. Meet Your Loved One’s Neighbors & Friends
Your loved one’s neighbors and close friends can keep a close eye on him or her. Make sure they have your contact information to let you know if an emergency or concern arises. If your loved one has no close neighbors or friends, encourage him or her to make some by visiting a senior center or joining an exercise group. Increased socialization can keep your loved one healthy and give you peace of mind, knowing he or she is being looked after.
A trained caregiver can alleviate much of the stress and worry you may feel because you can’t be close to your loved one. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional senior home care, Columbia Assisting Hands Home Care should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at 443-233-1245 today.