Caring for aging loved ones is never easy, and it gets even more difficult when you’re helping from afar. During this pandemic, such long-distance arrangements have become common.
The Wall Street Journal offers several planning strategies to help with remote caregiving. They include:
- Communication and technology – Technology often help seniors stay at home and remain independent longer. Even if there’s no need for “caring” technology now, put such devices — smartphones and tablets, for example — in place to get your family member familiar with navigating them.
- Even better, the introduction of technology is a gateway to online entertainment, books, and games, all of which can reduce loneliness and keep seniors engaged.
- Medical alert systems – Some kind of medical alert system may give you and your loved one peace of mind. Options range from basic alert devices to complex sensors and GPS systems. Pick the level that’s right for your circumstances.
- Amazon’s Care Hub, a free feature in the Alexa app, for example, lets you remotely check in on parents or loved ones.
- Transportation – Explore transportation options, whether they’re Uber and Lyft, rideshare programs, or van service that are available in your parents’ hometown.
- In-home care – Finding the proper in-home care has always been a complicated business, and it’s gotten more challenging because of the pandemic. According to the WSJ article, once someone has trouble with two or more daily activities — bathing and dressing, for example — it’s a sign that a higher level of care is warranted.
Start looking at local aging agency resources and get referrals on care providers from doctors, friends, and neighbors. Do your research now — before you’re in a pinch — so you understand the options and have a tentative plan lined up.
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