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Tips for Long Distance Caregivers

  • Tips for Long Distance Caregivers

Tips for Long Distance Caregivers

Tips for Long Distance Caregivers – Today’s guest blog is by Marie Villeza at Elder Impact. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Marc J. Victor, P.C.

Tips for Long Distance Caregivers

Tips for Long Distance Caregivers

Through the use of technology, the speed of travel, and the variety of in-home caretaking available these days, many family members find they’re able to participate in long-distance caregiving for senior loved ones. It’s not a perfect scenario, of course, but it’s certainly manageable. If you’re new to this concept or want to give it a go, here are some tips for looking after a senior loved one from afar.

Build a solid team

You can’t do it alone. Even independent seniors will need some hands-on help at some point, and those with mobility issues or cognitive issues most certainly will. Your first step is to build a team of people who can help you manage your senior loved one’s daily affairs.

You should first tap other family members – siblings, children, nieces, nephews, etc. Do any of them live near your senior loved one and can they commit to at least weekly visits?

When evaluating caretaking from afar, consider the following. What medical issues does your senior suffer from? How much in-home medical attention do they require? Should you hire a medical professional to stop by once a month? Once a week? Everyday?

Don’t forget about other options for hiring out help. Maybe seek out a housekeeper, someone to walk their dog, take them to church or mow their lawn. Apps like TaskRabbit and Uber allow you to connect with local workers from far away.

As the AARP notes, remember that your senior loved one is part of the team. Don’t forget to involve them in the decision-making process.

Tips for Long Distance Caregivers

Use technology to keep tabs

There’s so much technology that has sprung up in the past decade that it’s easier to keep tabs on a senior loved one from afar – so use it! One option is to use home security cameras like a Nest Cam to check in on your loved one to make sure they are ok. Some may have a problem with this, however, as it’s quite the compromise when it comes to privacy. If you want to go with something a little more subtle, you could install sensors on various household items and objects – medicine containers, doors, drawers, cabinet, etc. New sensors can link up to your cell phone and alert you when activated. This way you could check to see if your loved one is leaving the house or if they’re taking their medicine on time.

Of course, the tried and true methods of making sure your loved one stays safe in their home are personal emergency response mechanisms like panic buttons and automatic fall detection devices.

Tips for Long Distance Caregivers

Make the most of your visits

If you live far away from your senior, you may only be able to make in-person visits a few times a year. Make the most of them. Try to get as much done around the house – cleaning, organizing, yard work – as you can. Schedule important appointments for them for when you’ll be there, make sure their finances and bills are in order. Set them up for living independently when you can’t be there.

When you are there, try to help them do a little bit of downsizing. By reducing their belongings, you can reduce the strain of chores and upkeep, which makes the house more livable. Check out these great tips for how to help a senior downsize.

Long-distance care sounds difficult, and it’s certainly a challenge at times. But by building a coalition of caretakers and using technology to monitor them from afar, you can make it work.

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

 

Tips for Long Distance Caregivers

 

2017-08-21T13:03:01+00:00

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