Adult children often struggle to make sure their parents are safe and secure while aging. When those children live on the other side of the country, the difficulty is greater. There’s no easy way to drop in unexpectedly and make sure the house is clean and that the kitchen is well-stocked with the right foods.
Video chats and phone calls help, but they don’t always paint a full picture of how well older parents are doing on their own. Here are some of the best tips for long-distance caregivers.
Arrange to Have Friends You Trust Stop By
If you have friends or family members like cousins who still live close by, ask them if they’d be willing to stop in randomly. Your parents may not always appreciate the random visit, but you’ll get feedback on how clean the home is, if laundry is piling up, if there’s food in the kitchen cupboards and fridge/freezer, and if your parents seem okay.
Become a Medical POA and Ask for HIPAA Permissions
Even from a distance, having permission to talk to your parents’ doctors is important. They may not tell you everything their doctors tell them. They may be ashamed to admit they’re having health issues. If you’re aware of them, you can start helping them line up the support they need to get quality care.
See if your parents will be willing to give you access to some of their accounts. Would they be willing to make you a financial POA or at least give you access to check their banking transactions to look for unusual or fraudulent activity? Would they let you sign into their online pharmacy page to make sure prescriptions are being filled regularly?
Get to Know Their Neighbors
Get to know your parents’ neighbors when you do visit. Some may be caring people who are happy to keep an eye on your parents and make sure they’re doing okay. If they have a neighbor that can alert you to potential issues, such as not seeing lights on for several days, you’ll be able to verify that they have essentials like heat and power.
Make Arrangements for Elder Care Services
Long-distance caregivers need to partner with an elder care agency. It’s one of the best ways to have someone local checking in and helping out. Those caregivers can report back and let family members know if there are problems that need to be addressed.
With adjustments, living hours or days away is easily addressed. Call an elder care agency to discuss the services and days that most help your parents as they age at home.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Matagorda, TX please contact the caring staff at Viv Health Care Services today at. (832) 871-4223