As your children grow, they normally begin to stress your health and well-being. Especially when adult children live far, the worry and fear about how your parents are doing may feel overwhelming. If you plan and do some research, home care from a distance may be easy. The following steps can help you address the home care of your loved one while out of town.
Determine the needs of your loved one. Is driving an option? Are their bills managed? Is the grocery shopping burdensome? Are the personal hygiene, weight, and eyesight maintained? Has house-keeping and cooking become difficult? Check also on the medications and ensure they are being taken on time. As an adult child to take additional responsibilities may feel burdensome and complicated as a parent ages. Be prepared to step in to offer help where necessary and find solutions by getting aware of the daily life and personal habits of your parents.
When you visit next time, make some minor adjustments where there is a need. Install a non-slip mat for the tub or bathroom grab bar to make their bathing experience easier. Clean the appliances that are hard to reach and vacuum behind the furniture. Replace the light bulbs that have burnt out. Ensure you also assess the conditions of the property. Do the gutters have debris that needs to be cleared? Has the lawn overgrown? Will the lower level of the apartment be available in the coming years? Taking on this big-picture will relieve stress and improve the living environment.
You need to build relationships and engage the extended community at religious events or parental social functions. Meet neighbors and ask them to leave contact information. Also, inquire about routine check-ins and if it is possible. If there is some form of home care already in existence, get to know the people that assist. Attend the doctor appointments and get involved by asking questions.
Stay in touch
You should understand that support extends beyond visiting. Add your parent’s friends to existing social networks. Communicate via social media, video chat, email, and text. Also consider purchasing devices that can make talking fun, accessible and easy. Send greeting cards, photos and artwork to increase engagement.
You will need to be proactive and create a document which outlines your course of action. Develop arrangements for how to handle emergency situations. Make a shared calendar of the doctor appointments, account information, due dates for bills, upcoming events and important dates. Try to share end-of-life wishes even though it may be a difficult topic to start. Discuss sibling matter and hear the feedback.
Being far from your parent does not necessarily mean keeping a distance. These creative ways can help you make a big difference.