For family members whose aging loved ones live far away decision making can often be difficult, from stress to financial worries on top of time spent trying to sort things out.
If you live in another city, province, or even country from your aging loved one, chances are you won’t be there yourself every time to address any sudden health changes or changes in daily needs. Whether it’s gathering information about care needs, or coordinating alternate care and medical services, caregiving from a distance involves a substantial investment of resources.
The Challenges of Taking Care of Aging Parents from a Distance
Find out what resources are available in your loved one’s community. Establish contacts with a doctor, faith leader, social worker, hospital discharge planner and if in Ontario, your local LHIN.
Arrange a meeting
Include your parent (s), your family members and professionals who are helping. Think and talk about all the options. Be sure to talk about what role each family member might play when dealing with an aging parent or loved one.
If your sibling (s) or another relative is nearby, work together to arrange for help. Give emotional support for when you are not able to be there. It really is stressful and emotional. We will Blog on the importance of support shortly.
Arrange for a regular check
Ask a friend or neighbour to look in on your parent or loved one and let you know if problems arise.
Schedule family meetings via conference call or Skype to discuss decisions ahead of time, make sure to organize documents and paperwork before you need them, and gather all necessary contact information for concerned parties, including friends, family, neighbours and care providers.
In particular, seeking help from knowledgeable parties can be invaluable.
We are here to support you and families, because we know you can’t always be there. But we can.