Resources for Caregiving from Afar

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Our resource partner, Claire Wentz http://caringfromafar.com/, wrote this informative article we thought you would enjoy!

Sometimes, living close to a senior parent who needs support isn’t an option. Uprooting a family to get closer to them would be massively complicated or even impossible, while aging parents tend to dislike the idea of leaving somewhere they’ve lived for years. In these instances, your best bet is to learn how to be a long-distance caregiver, which isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are plenty of extremely useful resources out there that can make long-distance caregiving a lot more manageable. We have rounded up a few of our favorites.

 

Healthcare Information

 

It’s essential for you to stay informed on any changes to your loved one’s healthcare provisions. The best way to do this is through Medicare websites, which contain an array of helpful information detailing the most useful resourcesavailable. These can help you with everything from enrollment to the plans available in your state and information on supplemental plans covering things like prescription drugs or dental care.

 

Help With Household Tasks

 

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges long-distance caregivers face is that you can’t give your loved one the practical support they need for everyday tasks. However, the internet makes it easier than ever to hire help for just about anything.

 

For instance, if your mom has a dog to keep her company but struggles to walk her pet regularly, you can hire a dog walker  (or even a pet sitterfor when they need to travel) on sites like Rover. Meanwhile, TaskRabbit has a huge database of people ready to helpwith things like cleaning, home improvement, and general handyman jobs.

 

The benefit of these platforms is that you can either teach your loved one to use them at their will, or you can do the searching and hiring yourself if they don’t like using the internet.

 

Technology

 

TechForAging offers an extremely detailed guidethat focuses specifically on wearables to help keep older adults healthy and safe. Wearable technology to support senior adults has come a long way. Nowadays, there are more options than ever from alert devices to easy-to-use health monitors.

 

You can also leverage technology to support your parent through the use of smartphone apps. Senior Livinghas a useful list from informational apps containing advice and support to entertainment apps that can help keep their brains sharp through games and puzzles.

 

If your parent has trouble working a smartphone at all, consider investing in a senior-friendly model. Features to look for include big, bright screens, simplified user experiences, and integrated accessibility settings.

 

Socialization

 

One of the main things you need to watch out for when monitoring your parent is whether they are getting enough socialization. Loneliness and isolationin the seniors is a big issue, and one that can easily lead to depression and other mental health problems. While you can’t force your mom to get out of the house and meet friends, you can guide her in the right direction.

 

Time Money suggests numerous ways in which seniors are leveraging online resourcesto find new friends, from Facebook groups to community-based social groups. Have a look online to see if you can find activities your parent might be interested in, whether it’s an online network, a senior center, or a knitting club.

 

Long-distance caregiving can be emotionally taxing, but it’s not impossible. There is plenty of support, advice, and practical help available both online and in the real world. By using these resources, you can ensure your parent is happy and well when you can’t always be physically nearby.

 

Sometimes, living close to a senior parent who needs support isn’t an option. Uprooting a family to get closer to them would be massively complicated or even impossible, while aging parents tend to dislike the idea of leaving somewhere they’ve lived for years. In these instances, your best bet is to learn how to be a long-distance caregiver, which isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are plenty of extremely useful resources out there that can make long-distance caregiving a lot more manageable. We have rounded up a few of our favorites.

Healthcare Information

It’s essential for you to stay informed on any changes to your loved one’s healthcare provisions. The best way to do this is through Medicare websites, which contain an array of helpful information detailing the most useful resourcesavailable. These can help you with everything from enrollment to the plans available in your state and information on supplemental plans covering things like prescription drugs or dental care.

Help With Household Tasks

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges long-distance caregivers face is that you can’t give your loved one the practical support they need for everyday tasks. However, the internet makes it easier than ever to hire help for just about anything.

For instance, if your mom has a dog to keep her company but struggles to walk her pet regularly, you can hire a dog walker  (or even a pet sitterfor when they need to travel) on sites like Rover. Meanwhile, TaskRabbit has a huge database of people ready to helpwith things like cleaning, home improvement, and general handyman jobs.

The benefit of these platforms is that you can either teach your loved one to use them at their will, or you can do the searching and hiring yourself if they don’t like using the internet.

Technology

TechForAging offers an extremely detailed guidethat focuses specifically on wearables to help keep older adults healthy and safe. Wearable technology to support senior adults has come a long way. Nowadays, there are more options than ever from alert devices to easy-to-use health monitors.

You can also leverage technology to support your parent through the use of smartphone apps. Senior Livinghas a useful list from informational apps containing advice and support to entertainment apps that can help keep their brains sharp through games and puzzles.

If your parent has trouble working a smartphone at all, consider investing in a senior-friendly model. Features to look for include big, bright screens, simplified user experiences, and integrated accessibility settings.

Socialization

 One of the main things you need to watch out for when monitoring your parent is whether they are getting enough socialization. Loneliness and isolation in the seniors is a big issue, and one that can easily lead to depression and other mental health problems. While you can’t force your mom to get out of the house and meet friends, you can guide her in the right direction.

Time Money suggests numerous ways in which seniors are leveraging online resources to find new friends, from Facebook groups to community-based social groups. Have a look online to see if you can find activities your parent might be interested in, whether it’s an online network, a senior center, or a knitting club.

Long-distance caregiving can be emotionally taxing, but it’s not impossible. There is plenty of support, advice, and practical help available both online and in the real world. By using these resources, you can ensure your parent is happy and well when you can’t always be physically nearby.

 

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