Remote care giving demands significant time, thought, and emotional energy, and, as a result, it can be stressful on you, your parents, and everyone around you. Learn how to make remote care giving easier on you and your parents.
Assemble a Community
The first thing to remember about caring for an aging parent is that not all of the responsibility falls on your shoulders. In fact, it’s much better for you and your parents when you can assemble a team of people that all work toward the same care goal. Consider including other family members, close friends, neighbors, religious community members, and even professional nursing assistants. Be sure that everyone has a distinct job to do, and make caregiving a community effort.
Since you can’t be with your parents around the clock, and 24-hour in-home care may not be an option, remote care technology can be a good option. Devices that automatically collect and communicate vital statistics and other important information to you or your caregiver can save you time and grief. Medical alert systems that monitor falls, offer emergency calls, or provide GPS services can also make remote care giving much easier.
Your parents may be resistant to assistance from you and your care team, but it’s important for them to know that your actions come from a place of love and caring. Establish personal boundaries with your parents to help them maintain a level of independence, and learn to diffuse the inevitable difficult, guilt-provoking situations that will arise.
Understand the Financial Situation
Health insurance, medical benefits, and related finances quickly get complicated when you’re caring for an aging parent. Be sure you understand the range of care options that your parents have available, including public benefits and existing health insurance. Some policies only cover certain kinds of care. Gather all of the information you can about your parents’ budget in order to make informed decisions.
Call in a Professional
Even when you’ve done your best to navigate budget issues and establish care options from afar, sometimes getting professional assistance is best for both you and your parents. Whether it’s hiring a live-in assistant or finding a care manager who can assess the best options for your parents’ budget, many professionals specialize in caring for aging people.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
It’s natural to let a life-changing task like caring for your parents remotely take precedence over other things in your life. With such a serious responsibility on your shoulders, though, it’s important to take care of yourself at the same time. Stress, lack of sleep, and constant worry can have ill effects on your health, which will diminish your ability to manage the role of caretaker effectively. Rely on your team members when it makes sense, and fit in time to care for yourself.
Remote care giving may never be simple or straightforward. With these steps, though, remote care giving will be much easier on you and your parents.
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