As young adults, many of us leave our hometowns to pursue a different lifestyle or career opportunity. This is both common and accepted in society, but being far away from family has its challenges. Many people are discovering just how hard it is to care for their elderly parents when they live hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
What is a Long-Distance Caregiver?
A long-distance caregiver is defined as an individual who provides care for an elder who lives at least one hour away. This separation can complicate care giving since it becomes difficult to travel back and forth. The overall dynamic can be stressful, time consuming and overwhelming.
Fortunately, long-distance care giving doesn’t have to be any of these things. With the right planning and support network, you can play a vital role in your loved one’s life. Thanks to advanced technology and the ability to communicate over phone, text, email or video, you can be an active caregiver no matter how far away you live.
Here are helpful tips for how to be a long-distance caregiver:
Hire a maid – Cleaning the home can be stressful for an elder, so consider hiring a maid. The maid can do all the cleaning or specific tasks, such as vacuuming the stairs. Use the internet to find maids in your parent’s area and read reviews from past clients.
Schedule transportation – For a low cost, your elder can take a bus to the mall or grocery store. The Pace Bus, for instance, will come directly to the home when a call is scheduled. They also have vans that are equipped for those in wheelchairs.
Arrange for a bill pay service – Gather up the bills that your loved one has to pay each month and check for auto pay options. There are also online bill management services, as well as services like MyCheckFree.com where you can pay all bills from one platform.
Hire a companion – If your parent is alone during the day, hire a companion or caregiver to visit each day. This person can also help administer medications and ensure that your parent bathes and eats their meals.
Enroll in activities – With programs posted online, it’s easy to locate events going on in your parent’s neighborhood. Look at the park district, a local college or a community center and sign your parent up for theater plays, Bingo nights and knitting classes.
Order groceries online – There are a number of services that offer grocery delivery, such as Amazon Fresh and Peapod. These services will even bring the groceries into the home. The same can be done with medications.
Communicate often – There are so many ways to communicate, including Skype and email, keeping in touch with your loved one should be a priority. A quick hello lets your loved one know you’re thinking of them.
Although living nearby our loved ones is ideal, this isn’t the norm in society. Don’t let the distance discourage you from being a good caregiver and having an active role in your parents’ lives.
Blog sponsored by: Family Private Care