How do you keep a parent or loved one safe when you do not live nearby? Providing care for a senior family member from afar can be a big challenge, but distance does not have to keep you from providing the security and attention your aging family member needs. Here are some tips to make the stress of long-distance caregiving a little easier.
Make Sure They Have Healthcare Coverage
When your loved one lives far away, the last thing you want to worry about is whether they have access to the care they need. Financial considerations can be a serious source of stress for caregivers and loved ones, so help your family member put together a plan to cover any care costs they may encounter. One of the best assets for keeping seniors well is Medicare, but you as a caregiver need to know all the ins and outs of your loved one’s Medicare coverage, as well as Medicare in general. Once you’ve done your homework and have the required documents, you can make an informed decision about getting your loved one the medical coverage they need.
Create a Network for Support and Help
One of the hardest parts of caring from afar is knowing what to do when emergencies arise. Creating a support network can help caregivers and seniors when an emergency comes up, whether it’s a natural disaster or other crisis. As a caregiver, you should meet with neighbors, friends, and other family members who may be able to directly assist your loved one. Talk to them about the kind of help that may be needed and exchange any essential contact information so you will be able to get speedy updates.
There are even online services you can use that will make keeping in contact much easier for members of your caregiving and support network. You may also want to go one step further and establish someone to act as a local support coordinator. Ideally, this should be a professional who can quickly act on your loved one’s behalf and coordinate any kind of care that may be needed in crisis situations, so take your time finding someone you know you can count on.
Another way to look after a senior is to hire professionals to help with jobs around the home. This can include landscaping work, lawn mowing, and cleaning. Make sure you research the best companies and their costs. For example, you can expect to pay between $99 and $233 for cleaning services in Wheat Ridge, CO.
Use Technology to Give Yourself Peace of Mind
There have been many advancements in technology over the past decades that can make caregiving easier. At the very least, seniors should have a cell phone that they are comfortable using to make staying in contact easier. Many senior-friendly phones feature simple emergency call features that can make getting help easier for your loved one if they need it, and you can even find smartphones that will keep you connected via social media or video chat. You can also look into medical alert devices (some systems cost only $19.95 a month) that can go one step further in protecting your loved one. These systems make it simple to call for help, and you can find options that have low setup costs. Some caregivers even hook up a surveillance system to help watch over an elderly family member at all times. Surveillance can be in the form of video or sensors, so you can find something that both you and your loved one are comfortable with.
Living away from an older loved one does not have to leave them without the care they need. However, you need to ensure they have access to healthcare, are surrounded by a caring network, and can reach out for help when they need it. By taking care of these essentials, you can give yourself peace of mind while giving your loved one the care they truly deserve.
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