When job or family responsibilities take grown children to another city or state away from their parents, it can be challenging to provide care for your parents as they age. This is especially overwhelming if there’s a change in their health status. Here are tips for long-distance caregivers.
Schedule family meetings
Schedule regular family meetings to not only discuss care for your aging parents but your family and career responsibilities. It’s important to have a plan for your children, job, and pets in case of an emergency and you need to travel to care for your parents.
Identify and organize important information
It’s always best to have a plan for emergency situations before a crisis happens. You should have a list of important contacts and information should your parent have a sudden illness or be in an accident. This list should include the names and phone numbers of your parents’ neighbors, close friends, place of worship and doctors. The list of doctors should include any conditions your parents are being treated for, along with a list of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, including those for allergies. You should also have a plan for your parents’ finances during an emergency so that bills are paid on time.
In addition to planning for your aging parents’ financial future, it’s important for adult children to set a budget for expenses they will cover, such as travel to visit parents, assisted living or long-term care costs, or medical expenses for parents. If these expenses are not planned for, it can be extra stressful for adult children who often are caring for their own children at the same time.
Select a care option
There are many care options available for seniors, from in-home care and retirement communities to assisted living and long-term care facilities. The type of care adult children and their aging parent will choose may depend on several factors such as a parent’s personal level of involvement, distance, health, finances and more. At National Church Residences we provide a variety of care options.
Caring for aging parents is stressful, but even more so from a distance. Be sure to communicate with your parent, family, care facility, doctors and others involved in the care of your parent. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many national and local resources to assist with care for seniors.