Approximately one million people throughout the United States are currently living with Parkinson’s disease. According to experts, approximately 60,000 more will be diagnosed this year. If your aging loved one is one of these people, you may have made the decision to become their family caregiver. The care and support you give your parent will be instrumental to helping them manage their condition, protect their health, and preserve their quality of life. If you live at a distance from them, however, you may be worried that you won’t be able to fulfill these needs in the way your parent needs and deserves. Fortunately there are steps you can take to help you be an effective and beneficial distance caregiver even as your parent copes with their PD.
Use these tips to help you care for a senior with Parkinson’s disease when you live at a distance:
- Think about yourself. From the very beginning of your care journey, acknowledge that this experience will be stressful and potentially difficult, and put measures in place to take care of yourself. Get involved with a support group and make the commitment to yourself to take care of your needs while you care for your senior. This will not only protect your health and well-being, but will also help you to be the highest quality caregiver possible for your aging parent.
- Create a care team. You are not going to be able to do all of this on your own. You will need help to fulfill your parent’s needs effectively, especially if you are not able to visit frequently. Create a team of people willing to help you with your senior’s care, from friends and family to local professionals.
- Start senior care. A senior home care services provider can handle your parent’s needs in respectful, dignified, and meaningful ways that allow them to manage their condition now, and also prepare them for what they will face as their condition progresses in the future. This care is reliable and fully customizable so your senior can experience the care and assistance that is truly right for them.
- Plan visits. Even if it has to be well into the future, plan a time to go see your parent. This will give both of you something to look forward to, and cement you as the manager of their care. Knowing you will be able to see your parent soon can also relieve stress and guilt, and help you to focus more on what is happening in your life at home.
- Schedule care meetings. Schedule phone calls, video chats, or virtual conferences with your senior’s doctors as well as other members of their care team. Hold these regularly so that you can discuss how they are doing, symptoms and challenges they are experiencing, and what you are going to do next.
Living at a distance from your aging parent can make being their family caregiver difficult, but this does not mean you are unable to fulfill their needs in the ways they deserve. Being a family caregiver from a distance simply means having to take more time and consideration in putting together plans and approaches to helping your senior meet their personal needs and live their highest quality of life on a daily basis. Starting senior care can be instrumental in this approach. A senior home care services provider customizes services to ensure your senior gets exactly what they need, while also promoting independence, activity, and fulfillment throughout their later years. This can give you tremendous peace of mind knowing they are getting everything they need even when you are unable to be with them as frequently as you would like.
If you or someone you know needs help with senior care in Ada, 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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