Caring for aging parents can be difficult, and when you live thousands of miles away, it can come with a whole new set of complications. How do I make sure they are cared for properly? How will I respond to (or even know about) medical emergencies? How will I know if they pay their bills on time? These questions can eat away at you each day, and worse yet, you can’t visit them whenever you wish to calm your fears.
If you are worried about your parents well being far away, here are tips to calm these fears and provide the best support you can from far away.
Investigate Travel Alternatives
Be prepared to “care commute.” Investigate travel options in advance. Keep your car in good repair, and check on the route and weather before traveling.
Discuss Legal and Financial Issues
These topics may be difficult to talk about, but they help ensure that your loved one maintains decision-making authority even when incapacitated. Preplanning will also lessen family disagreements and protect family resources.
Get to Know the Neighbors
If you haven’t already, next time you visit, get to know your parent’s close friends and neighbors, especially if your parent lives independently. Check in with them regularly to get their perspective of how your parents are doing.
Know Your Parents Medical Situation
Knowing your parents medical situation is a great way to calm your fears. By knowing who their doctor is, what medications they are taking, and when they go in for visits, you will be able to track their health more closely. Let their doctor know that you are caring for them from another state and would like to be informed and updated if any medical issues arise.
Make Your Visits Count
When you do visit your parents, make sure their house is safe and comfortable. Make sure to take care of all possible danger areas, including locks, alarm systems, and tripping hazards. Being unsure of whether or not your parents are safe in their own house when you live far away can be very unsettling, and by double checking all these precautions, you can ease your fears.
Stay in Touch
More often than not, simply staying in touch is the most important thing you can do. There is no need to jump on an airplane every time you have a worry about your parents. By keeping in touch, you can calm the daily fears you are having about their well being.
To contact us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center
Please call us at (561) 588-4545. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!