A Guide for Managing Elderly Loved Ones’ Health
Caring for elderly family members becomes a complex task when they live out of town. Despite the physical distance, providing support and ensuring their well-being is paramount. In this guide, we’ll explore practical tips for relatives navigating the challenges of managing the care of their elderly loved ones from afar. (Pictured on left: Kim Lee, of Flourish in Place, with his mother, Elizabeth)
Perform a Safety Check of the Home:
“Are the locks on doors and windows in good working order? Know who has access to a spare key. Make sure there is adequate lighting on the outside of the house. Motion detector lights for ‘dark corners’ of the property are often a good idea.” Florida Council on Aging
Establish Open Communication Channels:
Maintaining regular communication is crucial for staying informed about your loved one’s health and needs. Leverage technology to bridge the distance; schedule regular video calls, and set up group chats involving family members, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.
Leverage Technology for Monitoring:
- Embrace smart technology solutions that facilitate remote monitoring of your loved one’s health. Devices such as medical alert systems, smart pill dispensers, and health-monitoring apps can provide real-time updates on vital signs and medication adherence. Utilize platforms, such as Flourish in Place’s Family Room, for communicating with your loved one’s caregivers. Watch the video explanation of our family room: Family Video to get an idea of how that works.
Get to Know Neighbors and Friends:
Meet the people who live near your loved one. Gather phone numbers and email addresses for your loved one’s friends and neighbors. Ask them to let you know if something concerning is going on, such as, piled up newspapers and mail or not answering the door. Let them know that you want to hear from them and will respond to the need.
Create a Comprehensive Care Plan:
Developing a detailed care plan is essential for effective long-distance caregiving. Collaborate with local healthcare professionals to assess your loved one’s specific needs, and use this information to create a comprehensive care plan. Platforms like CaregiverAction.org offer insightful resources and templates for crafting personalized care plans, ensuring everyone involved is on the same page regarding medical requirements, daily routines, and emergency protocols.
Prioritize Self-Care for Caregivers:💖
Taking care of a loved one from afar can be emotionally taxing. Recognize the importance of self-care to maintain your own well-being. Explore support groups, both online and locally, to connect with others facing similar challenges. Websites like the Family Caregiver Alliance and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center provide valuable resources and information on caregiver well-being, offering tips on managing stress and finding balance in your own life.
Managing the care of elderly loved ones from a distance requires a proactive and collaborative approach. By establishing open communication, coordinating local support, leveraging technology, creating a comprehensive care plan, and prioritizing self-care, you can ensure your loved one receives the attention they need while maintaining your own well-being. Remember, with the right resources and support, long-distance caregiving can be a manageable and rewarding experience.