Five Tips to Help You Care for Your Aging Parents from a Distance
There are many challenges you may tackle when you care for your aging parents long-distance, including a fiscal, physical, and mental challenges. Caring for an aging parent has its challenges. However, it is even more strenuous when your parents suffer from memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease. When you reside an extended distance from your parents or loved one, and they are struggling to meet their own needs, it is hard to know what the right decision will be for their long-term care. Particularly when it comes to selecting the best memory care community for them.
Although it’s difficult searching for long-distance caregiving or a memory loss or dementia care facility, there are many ways to make this journey easier. There are several options when dealing with long-distance caregiving which allow you to care for your parents long-distance and manager your life as well.
Eager for our Top 5 Tips? Let’s get started!
Be Prepared: Learn About Dementia Care Communities
Being prepared is essential! Not many people have the privilege or ability to consider dementia care assisted living or memory care facilities, so if you have this opportunity, don’t let it go to waste! Good communication goes a long way. While it’s possible, talk to your parents and hear their thoughts about what they would want should they need memory care support. Asking your loved one questions to know what is important to them will help you navigate this road if and when it’s time. For example, ask what makes them comfortable? Would they rather live at home with support for as long as possible or would they prefer to live in a memory care community designed for people with memory loss? This conversation will likely be steeped in complicated or uncomfortable feelings; however it is best to begin these talks early.
How to Proceed:
- Sit with your loved ones and research “dementia care community near me” or “memory loss community near me” to gather information.
- If something catches your eye, don’t hesitate to click on their ‘Contact Us’ link and start communicating with them. Many communities are welcoming and more than willing to help you get the information you need and answer your questions.
- Use your information to create a list of communities and their amenities. Consider the things your loved one desires in a community, as well as the questions you have about these communities.
- Book a tour appointment. We believe seeing a community gives you much better insight, so thoroughly inspect your potential communities to ensure they properly suit your loved ones needs.
Be Financially Prepared: Learn About Costs
With long-term commitments, costs really do matter. The expenses of a memory loss assisted living community, or long-distance elderly care, can mount fast. All communities are different, and some residential care homes may not meet your requirements. This is why you need to figure out the types of care your parents want and don’t want, and their associated costs.
Consider how your family will handle these payments when the time comes. Find out if your parents have insurance that may cover some of these costs. If they do, inquire about the types of care or services that are covered, and what your family will have to pay for. It is essential that you know about the costs and payments required in your potential communities.
Next, you’ll need to consider the other costs that come with an assisted living community or residential care home. For example, you may need to buy new furniture or other items to fit their new home. While you’re talking about furnishings, you should also discuss with your parents the decorations and mementoes they would like to have in their new home. This is especially important because these tokens can bring them happiness and comfort in their new environment.
Additionally, you should learn more about the long-term-care insurance policies your parents have. This will help ease the costs of long-term-care. Understanding what their policies cover and don’t cover allows you to plan for the future and potential expenses.
Experience is Key: Consult Experts
Always get a second opinion! If you’re ever uncertain on a particular matter, always consult the experts closest to your concerns. This is why you should consult your loved one’s financial planners, lawyers, or doctors when you have unanswered questions about their needs or wants. Double checking with these professionals can never hurt.
Talk to your friends, family, and other close individuals in your life. We have all experienced something similar in our lifetimes, and they may share valuable advice. Although people may disagree on some issues, or they may not match the best advice from experts, it will nevertheless help you see all perspectives and make the best, informed decision. It’s a good approach to finding the best solutions to your loved one’s unique needs.
Be Prepared to Start: Organize the Best Care
It can often be daunting to take the first tangible step forward. As soon as you realize that the time has come to arrange care for your parents, you should be well ahead of the necessary planning and organization. In our experience, the best preparation is simply gathering and organizing all the appropriate information you will eventually need when the time comes. Create a document with all of the contact information for people who could help assist with long-term and short-term care, such as doctors, neighbors, case workers, and others.
Utilize all the resources available to help you find the right caregivers. There are many resources to choose from, case managers, support groups, and dementia organizations, all of which are designed to help you and give you all the information you could possibly need. Put aside time to research senior living communities that care for people with dementia. Take note of what others say and the reviews they leave behind, look for those that are particularly sympathetic, extensive, and genuine. They will give you invaluable insight into your selection!
Be Computer-Savvy: Stay Ahead with Technology
Thanks to technology, everything is easier and more efficient. Advances in technology allow us to stay connected to our loved ones who live in another town, city or state. This means with technology like video calls, you can stay connected with your loved ones from anywhere in the world. Using this technology, you can maintain your close bonds and keep an eye on their care with ease.
Today, most people are adept at using common technology like video calls, so take advantage of it. While your parents move into and become acquainted with their new assisted living home, you can talk to caregivers and see if they will help them use apps like Zoom or Skype. Additionally, many memory loss communities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities are adopting special medical alert systems, so their residents can have more freedom and security.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Today, there are so many ways to care for your aging loved one, you simply don’t have to choose between moving your parents to your town or you moving to their town. We now have the technology necessary to monitor a loved one securely and comfortably, all while keeping their privacy and tranquility intact. By leveraging this technology, you can rest assured that your parents are well taken care of, so they can relax into their golden years.
Be Gentle: Have Self-Compassion
It can be extremely difficult to forgive yourself. However, you should always keep in mind that you will make mistakes, but most of us do! Sometimes, you may be faced with a choice that makes it feel like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. No matter what you decide to do, it will never be easy to care for the people who used to care for you. Despite all of this, it is essential that you have faith in yourself and the decisions you make with love and care. You have every right to be happy, and your parents would want you to be happy, even though they may not be able to say that themselves right now. Regardless of your age, you will always be their treasured little one, and all parents strive to see their kids happy!
Although caring for your aging parents long-distance may be challenging, if you use these five tips, you will undoubtedly enhance this new chapter of your lives and make decisions easier.