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How to Care for an Elderly Parent From Afar

When your parents need elderly care, you want to be there for them.

But this can be a challenge if you live far away. Providing long distance care can be frustrating and financially draining. According to the National Institute of Aging, there may be as many as seven million people that provide long-distance care nationwide.

 

If you’re facing this challenge, there are several steps you can take to decrease the financial and emotional burden:

Figure out the situation exactly.

It’s important to learn as much as possible about your loved one’s situation – especially if there has been a recent surgery, accident or health condition that is prompting the need for more full time care. Research their health issues, get in contact with their caregivers and get the details on their insurance coverage so you can stay organized.

Be proactive about staying in touch.

Talk to your loved one frequently about not only their health, but also about their overall feelings and activities. Learn more about their day-to-day lives, and keep siblings and other family members in the loop. You can all watch together for signs of forgetfulness, confusion and stress that can hint at bigger health problems.

Plan out regular trips and establish your budget.

You’ll want to visit in person more frequently, which can tax your financial resources if you’re not careful. Look at the yearly calendar and plan out your trips and your budget. Then let your loved one know so they have the peace of mind knowing that you care. 

Explore your options for primary caregiving and health services.

It’s better to know your options long before your parent or loved one needs full time care. If you have siblings who live nearby, you should discuss with them your options for care. Putting the responsibilities for care on one sibling’s shoulders alone can be stressful. 

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