tending the needs of your loved one from a distance might feel like a circus act some days.
Fortunately there are tools available to help you find a successful balance.
Communication is key.
have a number of options for staying in touch. The American Association of Retired Persons
(AARP) says that “many long-distance caregivers say they insist on daily phone calls or video
chats to hear or see how their loved one is doing. Oftentimes, they find another relative or a
paid caregiver they can trust who is closer and able to help with some tasks.”
● Assist with bill paying and finances
● Organize health assistance including caregivers or medical equipment
● Give emotional support to whomever is the local caregiver
● Have someone inspect the house to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for medical needs
● Arrange to move your senior into an assisted living facility if necessary
● Organize legal paperwork
● Coordinate information such as health records and medications
● Navigate insurance claims
● Communicate with family and friends
● Have a plan in the event of an emergency
move as simple as possible for your loved one.
Reach out for help.
important to align with local resources so others can be present when you can’t. Experts
suggest exploring your options online first when you are coordinating long-distance.
option. Experts recommend evaluating your parent’s circumstances and carefully assessing
what needs must be met. You should consider:
- Physical needs. Assess whether your loved one needs assistance with everyday life such as bathing, tending pets, cleaning and shopping, and how much assistance is required.
- Home maintenance. Tending to home maintenance can become unmanageable for the elderly, especially if living alone.
- Emotional needs. Your parent may be increasingly isolated for a number of reasons. If public transportation, friends, family, and neighbors are not available, your parent can become housebound.
- Finances. Some modifications are expensive, and it may not be realistic to adapt your senior’s home.
Deciding on a care facility.
experts at Consumer Reports have some great tips for selecting the right facility.
your parent will need and what to expect long-term.
- Go several times, especially at meal times and on weekends. If you cannot visit yourself arrange for a local caregiver to do so.
- Ensure that your parent’s needs will be met not only now but in the future.
- Ask questions of residents. Are medications delivered on time?
- Do employees seem overworked?
- Ask how the residence would handle a fall.
Budgeting for assisted living.
that the fee schedule is included in the contract. Inquire about what circumstances might trigger
additional charges and how the facility would determine the charges. Also ask if there is a
policy for lowering fees, for instance if your parent requires a stay in a hospital. Find out how
quickly billing can be adjusted.
Sources for financial assistance.
eligible for financial assistance. Some professionals advise starting with the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services. If your parent is a veteran he or she may quality for additional
Long-distance caregiving is doable.
help you can support your parent from afar. If your parent needs assisted living you have a
number of terrific resources at your fingertips. Make an educated selection by researching
available facilities and financial obligations and assistance. You will have peace of mind caring
for your aging parent across the miles.
visit elderimpact.org for more info and interesting articles.