Caring for an elderly parent is challenging. Add in the fact that you live out-of-state and an equation for distress has been created. With these few hints, caring for your loved one, thousands of miles away, can put your mind at ease while making you feel closer to your parent.
1. Work as a team
In almost every case, you are not the only one who is able to care for your elderly parent. Rely on your siblings, parent’s friends, and another parent (if applicable) for help in the care of your loved one. Take the pressure off yourself and let those who are geographically closer to your parent take over some day-to-day tasks and delegate responsibilities in planning for their physical and emotional care.
2. Plan regular calls
A very practical step in making sure your elderly parent knows you are there for them is scheduling times to regularly call them. Not only do they feel secure in their support system but also you are actively tuned in to their needs, and are more likely to sense if a bad situation arises. The earlier you know if something is wrong, the earlier you can ask people nearby to step in and fix it.
3. Know your strength and limitations
Are you working full time job? Do you have children still in the home? Do you understand what the commitment to a long-distance caretaker entails emotionally? Make sure when caring for a your elderly parent, you take an honest look at your own situation and know your limits on how much you can help. Just because you’re busy or stressed doesn’t mean you’re useless. Instead, look at what your strengths are; if you are organized, be a coordinator for delegating tasks to others; if you are good at encouragement, be your parent’s first call when something goes wrong. Do what you excel at.
4. Know where important information is located
When it comes time for an important decision to be made—whether it be about finances, living situations, or future plans—knowing where your parent’s legal documents are located is a must. Often, elderly parents are less able to keep track vital documents on their own; keeping track of important documents and other information for them takes a burden off of them and the lifts the stress of worrying off of you.
5. Hire help!
Planning and executing a major change in lifestyle, like a move, for an elderly parent is often more than anyone can undertake on their own. Know when you’ve reached your limits, and don’t be afraid to reach out to someone, or some company. You may also consider hiring home health care professionals as another viable resource. This does not mean you are a failure to your parents! It means taking a step to make sure they are in the best hands—professional hands.
Thanks to Harmony Senior Relocation Services for the article. You can learn more about them at www.harmonymoves.com