<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=836105796546988&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

How to Help Elderly Parents from a Distance

2024-01-18 00:00:00

5 Long-Distance Ways to Help Your Aging Parent

Life takes you places. You may have moved to another town or another state for your job, to start your own family or for a fresh start. However, when your parents start to need help as they age, it can feel difficult to find ways to assist them while still maintaining your life in another city.

The good news is that, with the help of technology, there are plenty of ways that you can support your aging parent from a distance. In this post, we’ll walk you through five long-distance ways that you can continue connecting with and helping your parent so they maintain their health and happiness.

#1 Help with Finances

Assisting your parent with paying bills, establishing a budget, and managing their money can be incredibly helpful, especially if they’re starting to struggle with memory loss.

Most banks and businesses offer an online payment option for all of your bills. You can help your parent create an online account and set up automatic payments for each of their bills. This removes the stress of paying multiple companies throughout the month and ensures that your parent won’t miss a payment on accident.

Another option is to find a senior living community where they don’t have to worry about managing as many bills. These communities give residents freedom to come and go as they choose, plus access to group activities, events, and help around their apartments. 

The most convenient thing about senior living communities is that all of your parent's bills will be wrapped up into their overall costs. So you don’t have to worry about paying multiple companies or keeping track of due dates. Instead, they can rest assured their expenses are covered and simply enjoy their golden years!

#2 Manage Healthcare

Managing multiple doctor appointments is often a big part of older adults’ lives. However, navigating the scheduling process and arranging transportation can be confusing and time-consuming for them.

You can step in and help your parent schedule their appointments and ensure they have them all written down on a calendar or inputted into a virtual calendar. It helps to encourage your parent to utilize technology for this so you can easily add appointments directly to their calendar and set up reminders so they’re notified when you add something new and get helpful reminders.

If your parent is utilizing telehealth options, you can request a link for yourself as well to help them take notes and document what the doctor would like them to do. 

This is another area where an senior living community can be very helpful. Staff can help set up and manage doctor appointments for your parent, even assisting with transportation if necessary.

#3 Ensure Proper Nutrition

Cooking and meal preparation are two other responsibilities that can feel burdensome for older adults. Whether they struggle to safely navigate the kitchen or just want to spend their time doing more enjoyable things, helping them ensure they have nutritious meals they don’t have to prepare themselves is often a welcome means of support.

In some situations, organizing meal delivery or subscribing to a meal preparation service can be helpful. However, it does still put some responsibility on your parent to accept deliveries, store the food, and serve themselves, which can be difficult if they’re facing mobility or memory issues. 

Depending on your situation, moving your parent to an senior living community might be a better  choice. There they would have access to a dining room where they can enjoy meals with other residents throughout the day. Plus, all meals are designed to be healthy and nutritious and can be tailored to address specific health concerns. 

If your parent still enjoys cooking for themselves from time to time, they don’t have to give up this hobby when they move to a senior living community. Independent living and assisted living arrangements are similar to apartment complexes, and in most cases their new living space will include a small kitchen or kitchenette where they can prepare and store their own food if they would like.

#4 Schedule Social Time

A great way to support your parent long-distance is to help them keep up with other family members and friends. Schedule social time into their calendar, whether they live at home or in a senior living community.

There are many ways you can help coordinate this, including:

  • Schedule regular video calls with your parent to check in and see how things are going.
  • Encourage friends to join your parent at a local event or class.
  • Family get togethers for relatives that still live close to your parent.

Social time is incredibly important for aging people. As your parent ages, they might start to self-isolate which can lead to loneliness and depression. Surrounding them with loved ones and showing you care is an easy way to make them feel valued and give them the interaction they need to remain happy and healthy.

At Weatherly Inn, we plan lots of community events for our residents. This gives them time and space to meet each other, get to know one another, and enjoy new friendships. From monthly special events to daily activities, there’s always something happening in our communities.

#5 Hire In-Home Help

If your loved one isn’t ready to move into a senior living community or is waiting for a spot to open at the community of their choice, it might be helpful to hire some in-home help in the interim.

Some older adults struggle to keep their homes clean and tidy. A cluttered home can pose fall risks for elderly people, so you want to ensure your loved one has help keeping the walkways clear and home tidy at all times. Hiring a housekeeper, yard service or caregiver service to check in on your parent until they’re ready to move to a new community is often helpful.

Evaluate What You Can Do

Although these are all important ways that you can help your parent, it’s not mandatory for you to take on all these responsibilities. Part of being a caregiver — even a long-distance caregiver — is evaluating what you are capable of doing for someone else and when it’s time to find more help.

If you try to do too much, you will eventually face caregiver burnout, which can strain relationships, your physical health, and emotional wellbeing.

Before you commit to managing things for your parent, you need to ask yourself two important questions:

  • How much time per week do I have to help my parent?
  • How much help does my parent need to be safe, healthy, and comfortable?

When Your Parent Needs More Help

Even if you’ve been caring for your parent for a long time, eventually they might reach the point where they need more care than you can give. When this time comes, it’s important to be supportive and encouraging about making the necessary move to a senior living community.

Help your parent research different communities in their area and assess what amenities and services they would like to have. You can even ask them if they would like to live somewhere closer to you and look at communities in your area, as well. Take the time to tour campuses with them, whether in person or virtually, and help them evaluate which communities they like best.

When you find a place you both like, you can inquire about available arrangements or get on their waiting list. Adding your parent’s name to the waiting list is often a good way to ensure you’ll get the help you need while also giving your parent time to adjust to the idea of moving.

Senior living communities are designed to provide the utmost care for residents while still providing as much autonomy as possible. Your parent can enjoy their own living space, social activities, exercise groups, and more all in a safe environment.

Finding the Right Community

If you think it might be time for your loved one to transition into a senior living community, we can help. Contact us today to take the first step toward finding the right care for your parent.

January 18, 2024

Your Guide to Finding the Right Senior Living for Your Loved Ones

Finding the right senior living for your loved ones to call home can feel overwhelming. We believe it's our job to make that task a little bit easier.

That's why we created a simple guide to help you start the conversation.

Guide Cover

Related Posts

  • April 16, 2024

Tacoma Open House | April 18, 2024

Assisted Living

Join us for the Tacoma Community Open House on April 18th, meet the Weatherly Inn team, and find the right senior living for your loved ones. Explore ...
read more
  • March 28, 2024

Free Shredding | April 27, 2024

Assisted Living

Discover how to find the right senior living for your loved ones with our simple guide. Explore assisted living options and learn how to support elder...
read more
  • May 6, 2021

Everything to Know About Senior Care

Assisted Living

Trying to find the right senior care community is difficult, there are so many considerations, such as what amenities your aging parent may need to fi...
read more

Schedule a Tour

Tour one of our beautiful communities. We’d love to show you around.