As your parents get older and their health declines, you may feel concerned about their welfare, especially if you live far away. Moving closer to them or having them live closer to you may not be viable options.
The good news is that you can still help your parents, even from afar. Follow these tips on providing care long distance.
Communicate and visit often
Communication is imperative in maintaining a current view of how your parents are doing. This not only means talking to your mom and dad but also to those who care for them, such as doctors, nurses and friends. It is also helpful to visit as often as you can so you can see the situation firsthand and meet caregivers in person, which helps you make more informed decisions. You can also have a trusted person check in often for you or use modern technology to chat with and monitor your parents.
Offer the primary caregiver relief
If you live within a short distance, you can occasionally take over for the primary caregiver to give the person a break to prevent burnout. It will be beneficial to learn how to care for your parents, as well, and can be a time of bonding. Engaging in normal recreational activities can be uplifting for your parents, too.
Gather legal documents
As the manager of your parents’ care, you need to have access to or copies of important documents and accounts, from bank accounts to estate plans. If your parents are missing vital paperwork, acquire it for them (such as obtaining medical records) or help them create it with the assistance of a legal professional (such as a health care power of attorney).
You may feel overwhelmed by all the tasks you need to do in addition to those for your own household. Create a plan, whether on paper or digitally, to stay organized. For example, you can set up automatic payments or grocery delivery. If you have willing siblings, you can split up certain duties to lighten the load.