It isn’t always feasible for you to pick up your life and move to where your senior is when she starts getting older. That means doing some long-distance caregiving, possibly for quite a long while. Here are some ideas to make that time easier for both you, your senior care provider, and your elderly family member.
Evaluate Her Space a Couple of Times a Year, if Possible
Being able to look at your senior’s space and see how it works with her and how it might be complicating her life is so important. If you’re able to do this in person, that’s of course ideal. But even if you’re only able to do this with a video call with your senior, don’t skip this step. This is going to help you to see safety concerns and hopefully get them resolved well before there are any issues.
Assess Her Current Needs and Start Planning Ahead
What does your senior need right now? Does she need reminders for medications or is it time for bigger help, like someone to drive and handle meal preparation for her? Talk with your senior about what she’s finding difficult and where she’s willing to accept help. There might be tasks that are now starting to become difficult that your senior wants to wait to change, and those can be some that you start planning for now.
Bring in Senior Care at Home to Help
Having help from elderly care providers now means that your senior can start to get used to having more help on a regular basis. This is also a great way for you to get a backup set of eyes on the situation with your senior. Was your video call about her home’s safety accurate? Senior care at home can help you to stay on top of safety concerns and assist your aging family member with so much more.
Check-in with Your Senior Regularly Specifically about Care
You’re probably in communication with your senior often throughout the week, but make sure to set aside one particular time slot to talk only about care and your senior’s needs. When you do this, both of you are able to get into the right mindset and know that you’re addressing those specific issues. Assess what’s working and make a plan for what isn’t.
Visit When You’re Able to Do So
When you’re able to do so, make sure to schedule a visit to see your elderly family member in person for as long as you can. That time might already be chock full of appointments and big topics that need to be addressed, and that’s normal. But don’t forget to make time to just relax and enjoy each other’s company some, too.
Being a long-distance family caregiver offers some different challenges than if you lived in the same house or even in the same town. But with a little bit of help, you and your elderly family member can make the best of the situation and ensure that she’s got what she needs.