Are you bothered about your parents' health care, who are living in far distant cities from you? Are you finding it difficult to monitor their well-being?
COVID19 has made us rethink various aspects of work and life. We now realize the value of spending time with our family. But for those of you not near your aging loved ones, lockdown came as another nightmare. You probably faced many concerns about your aging parents’ well-being. What about their regular medication? Are they getting their medicines on time? What if they fall short on essentials?
Many people move from their home town for various reasons, including jobs and business opportunities. So it may not be possible to be at the side of your aging parents. That, of course, doesn't mean that you are moving away from your roots. We understand that taking care of your parents is on the top of your mind.
A decline in health or progressive memory loss are signs which are major enough to worry you about your parents’ wellness. Even if your parents have not faced any medical emergency, you still may be concerned about anything that they might need in their everyday lives. If you’re not around to check on them regularly, it can be hard to keep your mind at ease.
Whether you live an hour away from your parents or in a different state, or another country altogether, caregiving at a distance is a challenge. With the advent of new technologies and resources, taking care of parents living remotely has become easier. You can manage care for your parents even if you are living far away.
The needs of aging parents depend on the life stage. Their needs can range from everyday chores such as transportation, shopping for groceries, and fulfilling financial obligations such as paying bills. Apart from daily tasks, they may also need assistance in personal care, medical care, and coordinating healthcare needs. For parents determined to live on their own, you can take a hard look at their home environment. Encourage small modifications to improve their safety and reduce their risk of falling, which is a sure fire way to land them in a long-term care facility.
To know what kind of care your parents need, communicate with them and start researching various caregiving options remotely. Ask them if they want to stay in their home and have a caregiver who can help them there. Or they may wish to live closer to their grandkids. They might be interested in moving to assisted living or retirement homes. It is quite a task to decide on a certain option. Let them think about an option where they would feel most comfortable.
When you are in town, take some time to visit the senior living communities and facilities in the area. If you cannot make it, they also offer virtual tours that make it easy to start the search from anywhere. These places are different from those nursing homes you may have visited years ago for one of your older relatives. Nowadays, these communities are using advanced assisted living software which helps them to manage elderly care.
They focus on independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Senior care has come a long way now. They have invested a lot in creating welcoming spaces to allow the elderly to pursue their interests. It's impressive. Your parents will be much more comfortable with this decision.
If you realize that your parents cannot live independently, you need to find care for your parents soon. Have a word with the doctors, nurses, and all the people who have been working with your parents about any particular kind of care that they need. You may also look for resources to help you find assisted living software or other caregiving facilities.
A geriatric care manager is especially comforting if you don't live near your parents. They will advise you to create a care plan based on various care options available. Managers have backgrounds in nursing, physical or occupational therapy. They will serve as the boots on the ground who have decades of experience.
You may even hire a geriatric care manager to consult on an hourly basis to monitor your parents' care. The manager will go to doctor's appointments and do all that is necessary. They will coordinate care from your parents’ health care providers, caregivers, occupational therapists, and others.
Like all walks of life, constantly upgrading technologies have made things easier to keep you connected with your darling parents who live far from you. This became apparent during the time of the novel coronavirus. Video communication was the only resort in those early days of lockdown. Online deliveries kept it smooth as both grocery and medical needs were supplied timely.
Medical alert systems provide many options of monitoring levels. There are specific companies, such as Sensoronics, that offer patient monitoring accessories; you can learn more about these options at their about page. You can set up home-monitoring systems with cameras from GPS on watches and shoes to signal fall alerts and emergency assistance. You may plan to install sensors on the refrigerator, bathroom door, and pill bottles to track movements. Pill dispensers that beep to remind them to take their medicine are good options as well. Take time for a regular video call weekly, rather than just a phone call. By doing this, you can actually see how your parents are doing.
Technology can help you monitor your parents, but it doesn't replace eyes-on communication. If you are planning to take care of elderly parents remotely, you can follow our guide above. With the help of apps and gadgets and professional services, it is now feasible to help our parents live a comfortable and healthy life even when we are not residing in the same town.