Long-distance caregiving may be challenging, but there are steps you can take that make it a little easier. If you don’t know how to deal with aging parents that live far away, continue reading to learn what you can do to alleviate your concerns.
Despite Your Distance From Your Aging Parents, Professional Caregiving Is at Their Fingertips
If your parents’ independence and cognitive abilities begin to decline, you may want to keep them at arm’s reach. However, if they live in another city or state, administering long-distance caregiving can seem impossible. Aging parents that live far away still deserve to be cared for, but you may be questioning how you can help them without being close.
Whether at their house, a nursing home, or assisted living facility, adequate caregiving involves a hands-on approach that can’t always be achieved through phone calls. You can do things that keep you in the loop and boost your peace of mind. Looking after your elderly parents is simpler than you think, even if they live an hour or more away.
How To Help Aging Parents From Afar
When it comes to providing long-distance caregiving, the key is to stay connected, informed, and empowered. Things can become frightening or overwhelming if you feel like your parents are in trouble and you don’t have any control over the situation to keep them safe, healthy, and comfortable. Thankfully, you have countless ways to care for your parents from a distance, whether they live in an assisted living facility or their own home.
Professional caregivers may have the advantage of being with your parents daily. However, you can still care to make sure you handle their personal affairs, which they no longer have the physical or mental ability to take care of by themselves. After talking with your parents about how you’re there to help them in any way you can, follow these steps to make long-distance caregiving more convenient for everyone involved:
Gain Appropriate Access
Sometimes, you’ll have to get the answers you need directly from the source. Make sure you’re listed as an authorized point of contact to share and receive your parents’ personal information. Walk your parents through giving their doctors, insurance companies, and other professionals permission to speak with you regarding their personal information. If your parents forget to relay important information to you, or if they’re getting behind on payments to bill collectors, you can intervene and appropriately communicate to administrators on your parents’ behalf.
Designate a Power of Attorney
If your parents are unable to make appropriate decisions regarding their financial, legal, or healthcare affairs, assign a power of attorney as soon as possible. Involve your parents in the process as much as possible, and make sure they know who their power of attorney is and what services they provide for them. You, a sibling, or another relative can become your parents’ power of attorney if you’d like. If not, you can hire someone else to take on the responsibility. If so, you must make sure they’re thoroughly vetted and can be trusted with your parents’ personal information.
Take Note of Emergency Basics
Although no one wants to anticipate an emergency, it’s best to be prepared if the unthinkable occurs. Planning keeps you several steps ahead in the event of an emergency. Make sure you have access to their home or have updated contact information for those who do. It’s also best to communicate with landlords and trusted neighbors, so they know who you are and why you need to access your parents’ property. If there are spare keys, keep in mind where they’re located. Additionally, memorize their codes and passwords to alarm systems.
Establish a Support System
Long-distance caregiving goes more smoothly when you have a dedicated “care team” to help with your parents. If you have other relatives or family friends who live closer to your parents, creating a support system takes some of the pressure off your shoulders. Assign everyone on your care team a specific task responsibility. For example, one of you can be in charge of speaking to healthcare providers and handling their financial affairs, while the other calls and makes sure they’ve run their errands, taken their medications, and are safe at home with all the doors locked and alarm set. Everyone on the team needs to stay in touch and meet up when necessary to discuss long-term and short-term plans in person.
Organize and File Paperwork
Think of all the paperwork your parents have accumulated over the years. Everything from their birth certificates and social security cards to their medical records and financial information must stay somewhere safe but accessible. It may help to get a file cabinet specifically for their documents and file everything accordingly. Staying organized helps you keep track of all their important documents and sensitive files and locate them immediately.
Hire Back-Up Assistance
If your parents have in-home caregivers, it’s best to hire additional caregivers to cover shifts when necessary. Your parents need care every day, regardless of the circumstances. Making sure they don’t ever go without their services keeps you at peace and your parents comfortable.
With AVCC, you’re never alone. Contact our specialists today.
AVCC Helps You With Your Aging Parents That Live Far Away
Elderly veterans and their spouses may be eligible for the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit, which covers the cost of in-home care. The more help your parents receive daily from certified caregivers, the more you can relax knowing they’re correctly cared for. Many veterans are unaware of their eligibility, and unfortunately, they miss out on money they’re owed because they didn’t apply for it or claim it.
American Veterans Care Connection wants veterans to have the best possible quality of life, so we guide them through the screening process, help them submit their aid and attendance form to the Department of Veteran Affairs, and follow up with their cases. Once they’re approved, they receive quality home care, health care, or any other services they need.
Give us a call today. AVCC looks forward to assisting you!