Providing Long-Distance Care for My Aging Parent
Providing care for a loved one from afar doesn’t have to be a challenge.
With these tips, you can develop a meaningful long-distance caregiving relationship with your parent or loved one that will be rewarding for everyone.
Let’s get started!
What is Long-Distance Caregiving?
Providing care from a distance of more than an hour is defined as long-distance caregiving by the National Institute on Aging.
A long-distance caregiver can be anyone who is providing care to a relative, parent, friend or well-known acquaintance from a distance.
4 Meaningful Ways to Provide Long-Distance Care
There are many roles a long-distance caregiver can assist with from afar. When determining meaningful ways to provide long-distance care, the best approach is to create a mutual plan with the primary caregiver and your loved one to develop the most meaningful way you can provide support.
Here are helpful ways you can create meaningful caregiving relationship for the aging adult in your life:
- Keep your parent engaged from afar
Providing a device such as a cell phone or iPad for your loved one is a way to allow them to still feel connected to friends and family. Although you may have a little training time involved, it’s sure to pay off when you’re caring from a distance.
You might be left asking, “How do I avoid over-usage of the device?” Set guidelines. Let your loved one know the best times to contact you; that way you’re not overwhelmed with messages and they’re not left questioning why you’re not responding.
- Plan active visits with your parent
When allocating time to spend with your parent, make the visit meaningful. Plan activities to participate in that they enjoy. Whether playing a board game, attending a musical therapy or participating in the creative arts, determine what they like and offer to attend and participate alongside them.
- Create the best care environment
The best gift you can provide as a long-distance caregiver is one of comfort and peace of mind.
When you’re providing care from a distance, you can’t always see the needs of your loved one. Exploring living options such as an assisted living center can allow your parent to enjoy all of their daily activities with ease and comfort and provide you, as the long-distance caregiver, relief in knowing your parent’s needs are being met.
- Serve as an information coordinator
When providing support from a distance, keeping an open line of communication with your parent’s care provider and being aware of your parent’s care routine is vital to ensure that their needs are being met.
Stay up-to-date with key information by participating in their doctor appointments by phone or having a follow-up of their visit sent to you. Serving as an information coordinator to collect and maintain all medical information is a valuable asset for your loved one. You’ll have all their information stored securely and sealed with your review.
Determining the Best Care for Your Parent
Exploring the best care option for your parent, near or far, can be a hard task to balance. Involving your parent in their care decision will help them feel empowered and in control of their decision-making.
There are different levels of care available based on the needs you or your loved one identify. These include assisted living and long-term care.
Use our helpful guide to determine if assisted living is the best option for your loved one.