Tips on Caring for Aging Parents From Afar

If you
are currently doing all you can to take care of your elderly parents from a
distance, you are not alone. Around 34 million Americans are caregivers for an
aging parent, and of that number about 15 percent live at least one hour
away, according
to a report by MetLife
. Furthermore, nearly one-third of adults who
are caring for their parents from afar are taking care of a parent with
dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

To keep
tabs on your elderly parents while still allowing them to be as independent as
possible, consider the following tips:

Rely on Technology

There are
a variety of ways to use technology to keep an eye on your aging folks. For
example, if your parents are comfortable with the idea, purchase home
monitoring cameras to keep an eye on them. You can access the footage from the
Internet and know right away if one of them has fallen or is having some other

less invasive way to keep track
of your parents with technology is through the Fitbit
. These
amazing wearables keep tabs on the person’s blood pressure, sleep quality and
heart rate and uploads its data to the Fitbit website. If your parents choose
to share their data, you could have access to the results and have a good idea
about their day-to-day health and habits.

Still anotheroption is a smartwatch like the Apple Watch. These wearables include
features like GPS, step tracking and Siri messaging, which helps you stay
connected with your aging parents and put your mind at ease.

Schedule Family Meetings

To be an
effective long-distance caregiver, MayoClinic suggests scheduling family meetings with everyone who is
involved with your parents’ care. Communicate via web chat or phone so you can
go over your goals and concerns and divide up duties. This is a great
opportunity to compare notes with the others and make sure everyone has all of
the pertinent information they need, such as contact numbers, insurance
information and doctors’ phone numbers.

If your
parents are comfortable signing a release to allow you to speak with their
caregivers, stay in touch with the doctors as much as you can. Schedule
conference calls and discuss any concerns you have with them.

Learn About Their Health Issues

If one of
your parents has been diagnosed with dementia or any other type of health
issue, research the condition as much as possible. This helps you understand
some of the behaviors they may exhibit, what to expect in terms of the course
of the illness and possible treatments.

You also might want
to look intothe criteria for Silver Alerts in your parents’ state of residence. These
alerts use a variety of media outlets, like radio and TV, to broadcast
information about missing persons, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease,
dementia or other mental disabilities. Some states allow Silver Alerts for
anyone over 65 while others allow it for anyone who has been diagnosed with a
condition that impacts their mental ability. Although it can be hard to think
of your beloved parent going missing, it’s best to be proactive now and look
into your options should the worst happen and your mom or
dad wanders away from home.

1 Comment

  1. S Das
    January 2, 2017 / 4:09 am

    As your parents become older they will need more care mangement which can be daunting. Relatives can only do so much and they too are getting older. You can try apps such as Huggzy Caregiver or CareZone to mange the tasks and connect with a local Caregiver company.

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