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How to Care for Aging Parents When you Can't be There

a daughter facetiming her mother
By Kathryn

When you live in one location and your parents live in another—often times far away, it can be rough for everyone involved. You miss seeing your family, and just coming home for the holidays makes it even harder when you have to go back.

Being away from family can be hard at the best of times, but when it becomes clear your aging parents need help, it can become even more difficult. If you notice your parents are struggling and need help, how do you help if you can’t be there?

Although you may not be able to wash the dishes for your mom or help her get to an appointment on time, you may still be able to assist your parents. Here are a few tips on how to do that.

Evaluate how you can help

You may not be physically there to help your parents all the time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help them. Take a few minutes to think over what you can do from where you are. Many bills are electronic these days and can be paid online. Can you take over bill pay for your parents?

Do you still have the phone number for friends and family in the area? Perhaps you can help them by calling others nearby and asking them to help with meals, driving them to appointments, or other tasks.

There’s likely many things you can do even from far away. Make a list of everything you can do to help, and then go from there to fill in where you can’t help.

Time for a family meeting

Do others in the family live closer to your parents? Is there someone else more flexible in where they live who can help? It’s time to discuss this with the whole family and see if anyone can move or help with caretaking duties to resolve this situation.

Even if nothing comes of the meeting, at least knowing this option has been evaluated is a step in the right direction. It’s also possible there is an abundance of help available, and your parents can get the help they need from their family members.

Hire a caregiver

If you live far away and help is hard to come by, hiring a caregiver can be one of the greatest symbols of love you can give your parents. A caregiver can be your hands for you in a far away place. They can serve your parents hot meals, provide companionship, take them to their medical appointments, and help them see their friends again.

Although you may live far away, you may be surprised at how much help you can offer. These solutions can help you find a path that lets you help your parents long distance. Whether all you need to do is make a phone call to family that lives closer, or take an online role in their care, you can still help even if you live a great distance away.

For more information, or for an in-home consultation to explore home care options, please contact the professional caregivers at Homewatch CareGivers of Annapolis today.

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