Caring for elderly members of the family is one thing that not everyone can do themselves. For example, inasmuch as you would like to care for your elderly parents, you have a full-time job and your own children as well. Or perhaps you now live far away because of your career. This article gives you tips on how to care for the elderly if you don’t live close by.
- Know your options by assessing the overall situation
Not all senior people are the same; some are more mobile than others, and others are also relatively of better health than others. Take the time, therefore, to assess the individual situation of your senior family members. Doing this will help you decide on what is the best option for them, whether they can still manage to live alone in their apartment, with assisted living, or if they are better off living in a nursing home. Check on the following:
- Their mobility to do necessary daily activities, such as cooking or taking a bath
- Their ability to drive, commute or walk
- Their ability to go to the hospital themselves
- Their ability to clean their own house and do their groceries
If your family members are quite on the weak side after looking through the criteria mentioned above, it might be best for you to apply for senior in-home care, or to let them live in a nursing home.
- Be organized
When you care for the elderly, you can leave no room for mistakes. One of the most important steps for you to do, therefore, is to be organized with all the necessary information and put them together in a log book. You can provide this book to the senior care nursing home that your elderly family members will be staying in. Information in the log book doesn’t only need to contain medicines; you can also include personal particulars, such as:
- Newspaper, magazines or television shows that they are accustomed to watching
- Preferred snacks
- Family members they contact with and talk to regularly
- Any topics or issues that they might be sensitive about, or causes them depression and anxiety, such as discussing the death of a loved one
- Other activities that they might be interested in such as yoga or exercise for the elderly
When you have an organization system with all this information, you help create a sense of normalcy in your elderly’s lives, as if they are still in your own home and care.
- Have contact with your senior loved one’s network
Because you live far away, it is vital for you to have the contact details of your senior loved one’s network or circle, so that you know whom to contact in case your older family member does not pick up their phone. Doing this is so important, especially if they still live in their own apartment. You can focus on their network of the following:
- Friends and neighbors
- Other relatives who might be in the same location or city
- Co-members of civic and religious organizations
- Hospital and nurses that work with your senior loved one
- Discuss the care option with the rest of the family
You are not alone in this process, and it is vital that you include all the other members of the family as well. You have to be in the whole decision process together, such that you can give the best care possible to your elder family member. It is helpful that you hear the ideas of the other members of the family because they might have ideas that you may have missed out on or other essential details. Plus, they may also know things about your senior family that you aren’t aware of. The more information you all know as a family, the better.
- Prepare your schedule of a traveling routine
As you live far away, you necessarily have an obligation to visit your loved one regularly. Remember that the emotional aspect of care is critical for them to live a healthy life. The less you visit, the higher the chances of your senior family members to feel neglected and forgotten. If you can, plot out your whole schedule for the year, especially if you have to travel far to visit.
When you do this, you can balance out your schedule for trips to visit the elderly, along with other trips you may have to do for work and with your own family. As a bonus, if you have a clear schedule or routine visit, you can easily keep track of airline sales as well, especially if you have to fly to visit.
With all these tips in mind, you no longer have to worry or feel sorry about yourself for being away instead of close by. These tips show you that, yes, you can still have so much control with the care and assistance your senior family members need. Your physical distance doesn’t have to make them feel neglected.