Caring Long-Distance: How Best to Help a Loved One from Afar

Caring Long-Distance

Caring for a loved one from afar can be tricky and complicated; not only do you want to ensure they have the best care, but it’s also important to help them stay active and mobile. Many seniors find that after retirement, it’s harder for them to do the things they once enjoyed, and this can take a toll on their mood and mental health. When it comes to helping your loved one stay happy and safe, there are so many considerations to make that it can often be overwhelming.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help a senior loved one, even if you live far away. There have been so many advances in technology that it’s easier than ever to help a senior stay active, safe, and comfortable at home.

Send Help

One of the easiest and most beneficial ways to care for your loved one from wherever you are is to arrange the services they need to maintain their independence and stay in their home longer. For about $160 per year, you can hire a cleaning service to take care of everything from light housework to deep cleaning. Lawn care professionals can take care of the mowing and lawn maintenance at an average cost of $136. And, when it comes to nutrition, meal delivery services can deliver healthy dinners right to your loved one’s door for less than $10 a plate.

Get Them a Smartphone

Smartphones may seem overwhelming for some seniors, but many of them are very easy to use with a bit of training. Teach your loved one how to navigate the touch screen and download helpful apps, such as one that will remind them to take their medication or where they parked their car. You can also set up an account for them with a service so they can video chat with you and their other loved ones anytime they want.

Learn All You Can About Medicare

Some seniors don’t feel comfortable getting online and may not be able to stay up to date with their Medicare policy, so it’s a good idea for you to get acquainted with it. Read up on Medicare so you can stay informed about any changes, locate supplemental insurance that may help your loved one pay for prescription drugs, and find out what policies are available to them. This can be an involved process, but once you get the hang of it, you can figure out the best way to help.

Staying informed on your loved one’s health, in general, is a good idea. Many seniors have found that cannabidiol (CBD) can help manage symptoms of arthritis, migraines, and the side effects of cancer treatment, but there are many considerations to make before starting a new regimen. Talk to your loved one’s health care provider for more information.

Help Them Stay Social

Staying social is hugely beneficial to seniors of all ages, so help your loved one look for local programs that will help them make new connections. They might be interested in joining a group at church or forming a book club. Many seniors have exercise groups with friends so they’ll have company when they walk, swim, or do aerobics. Hop online and look for ways your loved one can meet new people and stay active. If it involves exercise, even better. Your loved one might really enjoy an aqua yoga class, which is gentle on the joints.

Keep Them Mobile

Some seniors don’t drive, either because of a vision or mobility impairment or because they simply don’t feel comfortable behind the wheel of a car. Help your loved one stay mobile by looking for local ride services that will shuttle seniors to doctor appointments or to do their grocery shopping. This will help ensure that they don’t feel isolated or trapped at home all the time. You can also ask their neighbors or close friends about carpooling or check to see if there are transportation services available in their state.

Caring for a loved one from afar can be stressful, so it’s important to make sure your needs are taken care of as well. Practice self-care, and if possible, talk to your loved one’s neighbors so you can stay in touch with the people closest to the senior in your life. A good plan will give you peace of mind and help your loved one stay safe and happy.


Written By: Claire Wentz, Guest Contributor & Author from Caring From Afar

Photo viz Pixabay by: Gaertringen

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