Long Distance Care Giving for Elderly Parents #GenworthUSA

Long Distance Care Giving for Elderly Parents #GenworthUSA

This discussion about long distance care giving is brought to you by Genworth Financial and Brandfluential but all opinions expressed are my own.

My grandmother is 93 years old and up until a few years ago she was quite active and independent.  She was the type of grandmother who went on trips to the casino rather than baking cookies and had loads of energy.  Age and 2 broken hips have slowed her down quite a bit and last year my parents finally had to make the decision to put her in a nursing home.  It was a hard decision for them to make, especially since they live 4 hours away from her and wouldn’t be able to spend much time visiting with her.  The whole situation has gotten me thinking about what *I* am going to do when my parents get too old to live on their own.  I live a 2 days drive from them!  My ability to help them out when they need it is going to be very limited.  Long distance care giving is going to be a reality in the next 10 years or so and I thought I would start looking into what can be done when the caregiver lives far away from the person who needs assistance.  Turns out, there is a decent amount of information on the web about long distance care giving and if you would like to learn more you can check out the Genworth website for more info.

long distance care giving

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Tips for Long Distance Care Giving

Go high tech:  Consider teaching your parents how to use Skype or a similar video phone call service.  I know this is intimidating for some elderly people…my mom can barely figure out the VCR!  However, actually SEEING the person you are talking to will go a long way towards making sure they are healthy and the house is in good order.

Make friends with the neighbors:  Talk to your parent’s neighbors, friends, and nearby family members.  Ask someone to stop in and check on your parents occasionally and let you know how they are doing.  This is helpful for you but also makes the elderly a bit happier when they have company to chat with.

Look  into power of attorney:  If your parents are getting older you may want to talk to a lawyer about gaining power of attorney.  In an emergency situation you may need to make decisions regarding their health or finances and this can be difficult if you do not have legal authority to do this.

Get them organized:  As we get older we get more forgetful and it is sometimes hard for the elderly to remember important things like phone numbers and medicine schedules.  Get a monthly pill organizer and have someone help them sort their prescriptions.  Type up a list of important phone numbers in large print and put it on the refrigerator.  Make sure there is a notebook and pencil by the phone for taking down messages.

Hire someone to help:  When the cleaning got to be too much for my grandmother, she hired a friend to come and do it once a month.  Look into having someone come and do the cooking and cleaning for your elderly parents. While you would like to be the one doing the helping, long term care giving means that you will need to rely on others to help out when you can’t be there.

Having parents that live far away can be stressful as they start to age.  We want to be there for them the way they were there for us as we grew up but jobs and family commitments often make this impossible.  Look into long term care giving NOW and start planning before you actually need to worry about it.  Knowing how you will handle things in the future and talking to your elderly parents about it will make decisions easier when they finally have to be made.

 Disclaimer: This discussion about long distance care giving is brought to you by Genworth Financial and Brandfluential  but all opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

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About Diane

Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can't quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke!

Comments

  1. We had to make a similar decision for my grandmother a few years ago. Luckily, we weren’t long distance though.

  2. My mom is not very old yet but she does live quite far from us. But these tips will come in handy for sure when the time comes. I will keep this in mind.

  3. Everything you said is spot on. Caring for elderly parents (or grandparents, in my case), is challenging, let alone when it’s from a distance.

  4. My mom is not doing so well in her older age. My Dad is still alright, but he can’t care for my mom as much as she needs. we’ve been able to manage everything except to hire someone to come take care of my mom. The costs of those medical bills are too much that our entire family combined just can’t manage. Thankfully we have close neighbors and family living close that is helping out as much as they can.

    These are fantastic tips to help keep a close eye on your elderly family members if you happen to live farther away.

    • Im sorry to hear things are hard for your mom. It is important for caregivers to realize that they are not alone and can ask for help when they need it. Good luck!

  5. We just love this article Diane because it emphasizes the importance of carefully choosing different long term care options and the benefits of planning for it early. Great job on this!

    By the way, we would like to inform you that we have featured this article in LTC Option’s Weekly Digest as our readers can greatly benefit from what you’ve written. Visit http://www.ltcoptions.com/weekly-digest-top-6-blog-posts-on-long-term-care-and-more to read the whole compilation.

    • I am so glad you felt the article was helpful! Thanks so much for the feature and I will definitely check out the website!

  6. We are blessed that my grandfather lives close by. He lives in my parents home – 5 minutes from me.

    • I really wish I lived near my family. Not only are holidays rather lonely but when there is someone sick or elderly it makes care giving very difficult!

  7. These are fantastic tips Diane. I especially think getting our loved ones more tech savvy is definitely important as they don’t feel so far away from families and friends they love, if they’re comfortable with technology.

    • agreed! Now, if I could just get my mom to figure out the VCR! Maybe some of the retirement centers or community centers should consider a technology class!

  8. Good tips.

    Growing up, we had an elderly couple that my mom looked in on. When the wife died, my mom became his power of attorney and helped him with his medical care. So I wholeheartedly agree with making friends with the neighbors.

    • I think this is something our society is losing, unfortunately. We really need to step back and realize that sometimes it really does take a village to make things work!

  9. I think being organized is definitely key into making long distance care giving doable. It’s amazing that your grandmother has been able to do so much on her own at 93. That’s impressive! It’s nice that Genworth is such a great resource too.

    • She was really going strong til she hit 90. She would go line dancing and on bus tours to the casino! These last few years have been rough but happy that she is safe in a place she is enjoying.

  10. Kasey@AllThingsMamma says:

    Great tips! I can’t imagine my parents getting old enough to where they need help. But, I know that the day may come. I live 6 hours away from my dad, so I’ll need the long distance help! Thanks, Diane!

    • Glad to see you thought they were helpful. My parents are in their early 70s but very active. it is hard to see them slowing down but I know it will happen.

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