Remote Family Helping from a Distance
There are many “roadblocks” along the road of each Caregiver Journey. Many roadblocks can be summed up into three different categories: Family Roadblocks, Geographic Roadblocks, and Financial Roadblocks.
In our last blog, we talked about Family Roadblocks. We love our families, and would do anything for them in most cases. However, family can be our greatest allies, or biggest hinderance in our Caregiver Journeys. Be sure to head over to Family Roadblocks in Your Caregiver Journey if you haven’t already.
Your parent may be declining and you want to help but there’s some reason that you can’t. For some adult kids, the primary blocker is geography. You may live flying distance away from your parents and only get home once or twice a year. It seems that the best you can do is have weekly video chats with Mom or Dad.
In this age of Covid-19, it seems that we are video chatting more. Even if you just live across town for Mom and Dad, life gets in a way. You got a family of your own Plus the job. Between these two, that seems to consume all of your time. Just like your siblings that live flying distance away, the best you may be able to do is to have a weekly video chat with Mom and Dad.
So if you find yourself in the situation what do you do? Here are a few of the big ideas that you can focus on even if you are helping to manage their care from a distance.
Are you more of a visual person? We also have a YouTube video where we discuss Geographic Roadblocks. Head over to our Help Me Help Momma YouTube Channel to check it out! While you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe and hit the bell!
Overcoming Geographic Roadblocks
Make it Count
One key thing is that when you do meet with them, make It count. Spend as much time as possible talking with Mom and Dad to see what they want and need. Do you see any obvious things that you could do to improve their quality of life?
Sometimes they have just outgrown their home. Maybe it is too big, has upstairs bedrooms or has a big lawn that is difficult for them to maintain. Would they consider moving to a place closer to you? Maybe a condo, an independent living facility or an assisted living facility if necessary? It has been my experience that many families that discussed this issue with parents who were declining in health had the best results when they did so gently. It may take many “ bites at the apple” spread out over time to convince them that moving may be a good idea.
Many Seniors fight hard to maintain their independence. This may be one reason many are so reluctant to relinquish the keys. Driving is one of the last bastions of independence. Even if it is past the point in time that they should no longer drive they want to hang on to this freedom.
If you know that your declining parent is having driving issues and you live at a distance, this can be a very scary time. You are not there to physically drive them to appointments or to check in on them. Here are a few ideas
Some areas have a grocery delivery service that can bring groceries right to the home, just like the old days. If this service is available, it will remove one reason that they have to drive.
Home Delivered Meals
Many of these services are now advertised heavily, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. Additionally many areas of the country have meals on wheels available.
Local Family Members
Are any local relatives or family friends available to drive mom or dad to appointments?
Some areas of the country have very good local senior transportation to take seniors to doctor’s appointments or local shopping.
Filling the Gap
What other activity can be substituted to fill this gap for them?
If your parents have declined substantially but want to remain at home, it is important to monitor the situation to make sure that everything is okay. Likewise, If you can’t personally be there on a regular basis, it may be good to employ the skills of a Life Care planner who can check in occasionally to make sure that things are as they should be. Even if you have non-medical caregivers in the home helping take care of Mom and Dad, it is good to have Life Care Planners that can help monitor the situation. This can help to ensure that Mom and Dad continues to get the best quality of life.
Hopefully these tips will help as you serve to manage the care of your declining parent while navigating around Geographic Roadblocks. Best wishes as you walk the Elder Care Journey with them.
Facebook Livecast Wednesday at Noon
You are invited to join our weekly FaceBook LiveCast, the HMHM Support Community, every Wednesday at Noon CST. This LiveCast is held inside our free, private Facebook group. This group is open to all caregivers who may join by clicking the link above.
If you are not currently a member of this group please join us. Just click on HMHM Support Community. We look forward to seeing you there!
We have a few hundred videos there for your watching enjoyment. They are categorized by playlist, so you should easily be able to find one or several videos that discuss exactly what you are looking for. The best part about this is not only is this some really good content, but it is free!
Just click here to go to the Help Me Help Momma You Tube Channel. Please remember to subscribe and to click the notification bell by the subscribe button so you will be notified when we post another video. If you have video ideas, please type them in the comment box. Thanks for watching!
Thank You for being a Caregiver for Your Loved One – you are making a huge difference in their life!