They claim distance makes the heart grow fonder, but residing far away from aging parents often causes additional feelings: worry, concern, and helplessness, to name a few. It is hard to understand precisely how your senior loved ones are doing through phone calls, letters, emails, and video chats. There are actions you can take, however, to ensure their health and wellbeing, even from a distance, and to make the most of your in-person visits.
Communication Is Important
A sincere, open conversation with your aging parents regarding their goals, wishes, and expectations is essential to ensuring their needs are prepared for and met. Start by asking the following kinds of questions:
- What forms of help might be worthwhile today? For example, would your parents enjoy having assistance with housekeeping, errands, meal preparation? Could they use help with transportation to outings or medical visits?
- What about anticipated future care needs? If a long-term illness or even the effects of getting older make it tough to keep living alone in the home, can they envision moving to assisted living? Moving in with a family member or friend? Staying at home with assistance from a home care agency?
- Are there any alterations to their home they would like to have made, to make life easier and safer now and in the future? For example, would it be beneficial to switch from an upstairs bedroom to a downstairs one? Install a ramp leading up to the front porch? Rearrange frequently-used items to more easily-accessible places?
- Have you looked into any local resources that could be helpful, such as a community senior center for socialization, fitness classes, fun outings, etc.? An area support group for a specific health condition, like Parkinson’s or dementia?
Simple Tips on How to Help from a Distance
With answers to these and any other questions at your fingertips, you can then aid in a number of ways, even from afar, such as by:
- Looking into resources
- Developing a plan with siblings and any other family/friends who are able to help
- Building a list of medical professionals, medications, and other important health information
- Ensuring all legal papers, such as a will, living will, power of attorney, etc. are in order
- Staying in touch via telephone, and visiting in person whenever you can
Making the Most of Visits
Whenever you do have the opportunity to visit in person, you will, of course, want to concentrate on quality time with your parents. It’s also essential, however, to evaluate how your senior loved ones are doing, the condition of the home, and any other signs that could indicate a care need that has gone undetected. Signs to watch out for include:
- A disheveled, untidy appearance in either or both of your parents
- Stacks of unopened mail, debris, dirty dishes stacked in the sink, piles of laundry, and any other indications that homemaking tasks aren’t being tended to the way they should
- Scorch marks on the counter or bottoms of pots and pans that may indicate inattention to food preparation tasks
- Bruises or other evidence of physical injury that could have resulted from a fall or even elder abuse
- A lack of fresh foods in the home, or expired/spoiled foods
How a Home Care Agency Can Help
At Home With You Senior Care, a trusted local provider of in-home care in Ellicott City, MD and nearby areas, we are always here to offer as much or as little support as needed to complement family care up through and including full-time, live-in care. We can help with picking up groceries, cooking healthy meals, light housekeeping, medication reminders, transportation, plus much more. We also serve as a friendly companion to ease isolation and boredom, and to ensure that the needs of seniors are fully met, with any changes in condition reported right away.
Contact us at 410-756-0959 to learn more about how we offer families living far from senior parents the peace of mind they need with our dependable, award-winning in-home care solutions. For a full list of areas we serve, visit our Locations Served page.