In a perfect world, you and your elderly family member would live close enough together that you could help her the second she needed it. But modern life doesn’t necessarily allow for that these days. That can leave you feeling as if you aren’t able to be there for her. Luckily, you have some other options.
Collect as Much Information as You Can
The key to being a long-distance caregiver is information. It’s important that you know as much as possible about your senior’s situation, but that might not be easy to do. It isn’t unusual for aging adults to keep a lot of what’s going on close to their chest because they don’t want to put anyone out or be a burden. But if you don’t know what you’re up against, you can’t truly help.
Set up a Time to Talk with Your Senior
Ideally you would sit down in person and talk with your senior about her needs and what’s going on with her. But if that isn’t possible, try to do the next best thing. Video calls can help a lot, as can telephone calls. If there are questions you’ve avoided asking, now is the time to ask them. You have to get details so that you can be as helpful as possible.
Find a Way to Stay on Top of What She Needs
Once you’ve got everything out in the open, you can plan together to stay on top of things. That might mean that you get looped in on information from your senior’s doctor or that you set up a weekly call just to talk about what is happening. Setting up separate “business” calls with your senior can help you to focus on the important stuff when you need to and just chitchat at other times.
Line up Home Care Services Now
Even if your aging family member doesn’t think she needs senior home care help now, it might be a good idea to go ahead and set it up. This is for a few reasons. First, you have an expert in what’s going on right there with your senior who can give you updated information. Second, your elderly family member starts to get used to having home care providers helping her out now, which is essential for when she needs more help later.
Visit in Person When You Can
Nothing can replace those in-person visits when you can manage to schedule them, though. You can start to see firsthand how things are going for your elderly family member and whether there are things that are becoming more challenging for her. There’s no shame at all in needing more help, but if you’re not aware that your senior’s situation is changing, it’s tough to ensure that she has that assistance.
Being a long-distance family caregiver is something that you can definitely figure out, but it might take a little more time and organization at first to get things set up in the best possible way.
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