Living hours away doesn’t have to impact how active you are in your parents’ elder care needs. You might not be there every day, but you can still be part of their daily or weekly routines. Here are the four ways to stay active and keep up with their changing needs.
Work as a Family Unit
You live on the West Coast, but your sister is on the East Coast near your parents. Work together to cover their care needs. You can’t be there for daily care, but you could handle the finances remotely. You could set up medical appointments for her.
If she’s the primary family caregiver, take time each year to fly your parents out for a week’s visit. She’ll have a break, which helps her. Your parents will love seeing you and exploring a new area. And, you have a week to see how they’re doing and where they need the most help.
Follow Up With Their Doctors
When your parents have medical appointments, call their doctor after. If you hold medical power of attorney or HIPAA permissions, you have the right to do this. If not, it’s something you should discuss with them. They need to have someone able to answer medical questions if they can’t speak for themselves.
See what the doctor says about any changes in prescriptions, their health, and care needs. Once you know where things stand, you can work with caregivers and siblings to make sure their care plan is updated to match what the doctor recommends.
Keep in Touch Through Video Chats
Caregivers can help get your parents set up to video chat. If you’ve watched the travel show “Somebody Feed Phil,” each episode ends with him talking to his parents over Skype. In more recent years, a family caregiver helps them use Skype and stay in touch. No matter where he happens to be, he ends each day with a video chat with his parents.
Talk to Their Caregivers
Use an agency that offers regular reports on how your parents are doing. You’ll learn if adjustments to the care plan are necessary. You’ll know what they’ve done for activities, if they’ve had appointments, and how things are going overall.
Partner with an elder care agency that stays in touch. Look for weekly updates that provide insight into any changes your parents have experienced. If your mom has Alzheimer’s and is falling more often, she may need help with ambulation. An elder care agency keeps you up-to-date and advises you when additional services would benefit them.
If you or someone you know needs help with elder care in Hudsonville MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.
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