Being there for your aging parents may mean having to move back home, or move them to your area if you live far away. But what if there was another option? Caring for your parents remotely is now a possibility if relocating yourself or your parents isn’t currently an option. Even if you cannot be there every day, you still have care options to ensure your parents are receiving the care they deserve and need. Continue reading to learn more about your options as a long-distance caregiver.
Start Important Discussions
The first step to being a long-distance caregiver and caring for your parents remotely is to discuss essential long-term care and planning options. Create a plan right away to ensure legal documents and a financial budget are in place. Include time to make a connection with local emergency and healthcare professionals.
Legal Documents Are Up to Date
Talking about wills, selecting a power of attorney, and addressing advanced directives may seem daunting. However, they’re critical legal documents to help with long-term care planning. Especially as a long-distance caregiver, you and your parents should know what happens if there is an emergency and someone needs to take charge.
Contact a local attorney who specializes in creating wills and power of attorney documents. Also, you may find online resources, like the AARP free online advanced directive template, to help you get started.
Understand the Money
Money may not be something you have ever discussed with your parents beyond casual conversation. But, it’s now time to review your aging parents’ financial situation with them and the rest of your family. Without an understanding of what funds are available, your family may incur unexpected bills.
Develop a budget that includes what care your parents can afford now and what they can afford long-term. As a long-distance caregiver, you may have closer family members who can help financially or offer routine care and support. Having that support group may save you and your family money over time. And, knowing who is responsible for handling bill payments will give you peace of mind.
Create an Emergency Plan
Having everything in place for an emergency will ease the stress of caring for your parents remotely. Create an emergency plan with your parents, local family and friends, doctors, and hospitals. Establish who is the primary caregiver and point of contact when there is an emergency.
Medical alert systems are essential in preparing for an emergency, such as a fall or other health concerns. When a fall occurs, whether from a mobility issue, stroke, or heart attack, you need to know that your parents can get help right away. Many medical alert devices, such as the top-rated devices by caring.com, include fall alerts, voice-to-text, and voice-activated calling.
Establish Open Communication with Healthcare Professionals
An essential step to take when caring for parents remotely is to make sure the right people have your contact information. This includes professional home care service providers, doctors and hospitals, and even community organizations. If there is an emergency, you need to be reachable.
Build Your Support Network
You have options to build a support network, even if you are caring for your parents remotely. This network could include senior transportation to and from the doctor or grocery store, local family and friends who have time to stop in and visit, and community organizations that help seniors. You do not have to be the primary caregiver by yourself—caregiver burnout is real!
If you or your family is feeling the effects of caregiver burnout—lack of focus, anxiety or depression, mood swings, or personal neglect—reach out to a trusted home care professional. At MediQuest Staffing & Homecare, we provide families with quality support and health care options. Whether caring remotely for a parent means you need help every day, or just someone to step in for respite care or after hospital stays, we offer flexible scheduling!
Get the Most from Your Visits
As a long-distance caregiver, you want to get the most from the visits with your parents. Make time to enjoy each moment with your family, but don’t forget to check in on finances, legal documents, or signs that your parents are unhappy. Request support from your family if you know you have a difficult topic to discuss, or you want to plan an outing for your parents.
Have a List of Important Topics to Discuss if Needed
As we talked about earlier in this blog post, having conversations with your parents and family about important topics will help you develop a successful long-term care plan. However, as situations change, you may need to discuss these same topics again.
Keep an eye on financial and legal situations, as well as look for signs that your parents need a different care plan. The more you can stay ahead of, the less caregiver burnout you will face.
Enjoy the Time
The most important aspect of being a long-distance caregiver is to enjoy the time you have with your parents. You have a lot of responsibility as a caregiver, but don’t let that stand in your way of enjoying family time and outings. If you are worried about transportation or assistance for a family event, know that there is help out there! Many professional home care companies, like us at MediQuest Staffing & Homecare, offer support and assistance for family events and outings.
Need Helping Caring for Your Parents Remotely in the Lancaster County Area?
MediQuest Staffing & Homecare in Lancaster, Pa. has been serving the community for more than 17 years. Our team of healthcare professionals has the dedication to help improve the lives of your loved ones and bring you peace of mind that you have the support you need. Even if you are caring for your parents remotely, we have the flexibility to work with your family.
Contact us today about the home healthcare services and support that MediQuest Staffing & Homecare can provide for your family. We are here to help!