Will You Be a Long-Distance Caregiver?

Your aging parents live far away, maybe you've had an experience like Doreen's. She stopped in Denver to visit her 80-year old mother. During her stay, it became painfully apparent to Doreen that her mother had become more frail and forgetful since her last visit. Doreen noticed that her mother had forgotten to pay bills and several collection notices were in the stack of unopened mail. Doreen also suspected that her mother was not eating properly. When Doreen suggested that her mother move in with her, she was met with swift and indignant refusal.

Sound familiar?

If you are one of the millions of adult children facing this issue, try these tips to make your journey easier.

  • Consider all the options before moving your loved ones from their home. In-home services may permit them to remain in comfortable and familiar surroundings, close to neighbors and friends.
  • If you haven't visited your loved one recently, do so as soon as feasible. Take note of possible problem areas such as nutrition, safety, driving ability, medications, finances, and physical or emotional illness.
  • Make sure legal and financial affairs are in place and up to date, and that you know where to locate critical documents and papers.
  • Set up a system of support if necessary for your family member's safety. For example, ask a friend or relative to check in with your parent on a regular basis. If that is not possible, you may need to hire someone to help your family member with meals and personal care.
  • Investigate virtual caregiving tools. Services are avaiable to monitor sleep, mobility, finances, health, and more. 
  • Recognize and acknowledge your own limits. As your relative requires increasing levels of care, you may become overwhelmed. Consider hiring a geriatric care manager to coordinate your family member's care.
  • Plan ahead to have family leave or personal days available in case you need to make an unexpected visit to your relative. Put aside money in a special fund to pay for such trips.

With plenty of planning and a positive attitude, long-distance caregiving can be done!

Questions? Takacs McGinnis Elder Care Law may be able to help. Just give us a call at 615.824.2571.

 

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